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Kal-El - Astrodoomeda

by Garrett Davis at 28 July 2017, 6:51 AM

As their website describes, KAL-EL (named, as most of you may know, for the birth-name of Superman) is “Intergalactic Stoner Metal” hailing all the way from Norway. Like the love child of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and second-cousins to Psychedelic, Doom, and Blues. Bass-heavy Groove and un-tuned guitars are their hallmark with influence from bands such as the ever-relevant BLACK SABBATH which is obvious in the vocal style. The title track opens with a reserved bass-line leading into a heavy track that isn't harsh but has so much reverb and distortion that it feels dragged down by gravity itself. The vocals here remind me of classic Ozzy Osbourne, pitched and warbling. The tempo speeds up about halfway through and oddly it feels forced. Something about the chords being played feel like they would do better played in a different time. Following the space-travel concept, “Atmosphere” starts with a shuttle-launch countdown

Mothership” double-dips on the Doom; grinding oppressive distortion that sticks around, leaving its weight to grind you down. “Code of the Ancient” is the standout track in my opinion. A great bass-line, precise drum work, and a fun guitar solo. “Luna” has showy Glam quality that would be great performed live. “Starlight Shade” is a slow burn, Psychedelic background riffs with a Stoner Sludge bass-line humming an undertone for several minutes before the song starts. Frankly I thought it dragged on a little too long. The closing track is a KYUSS cover of “Green Machine” which works pretty well with KAL-EL's sound. This new album “Astrodoomeda” will be releasing on the 25th of August this year. This new album certainly has a heavier Doom-like tone than any of their previous works but KAL-EL’s signature groovy sound still comes through. While it may not be the most original Metal I have heard this year it is still very well done; the de-tuned guitars work very well with the slow Stoner riffs and classic Heavy Metal vocals. I highly recommend keeping your eyes to the stars because if they keep getting better, KAL-EL could be the hero the Stoner Metal sub-genre desperately needs.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Astrodoomeda
2. Atmosphere
3. Mothership
4. Code of the Ancient
5. Luna
6. Starlight Shade
7. Spacecraft
8. Green Machine
Cpt Ulven - Vocals
Roffe - Guitars
Liz - Bass
Bjudas - Drums
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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