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Kalah – Descent into Human Weakness Award winner

Kalah
Descent into Human Weakness
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 03 October 2022, 9:00 PM

KALAH is a melodic metal band formed in 2020 (Come on, I have cheese in my fridge older than that) from Bologna, Italy. Having released a four song EP in February 2022 “Descent” and immediately following with a second EP “Human” a few short months later, before releasing their full-length debut album “Descent into Human Weakness” in August 2022. Led by female vocalist Claudia Gigante, with their self-described sound of Power Metal with modern danceable synth vibes. Not wanting to be “categorized” or have their sound “nailed down”, the vibe between the two EP’s had clearly notable changes in musical styles. So, as I drop the needle on the vinyl (I love saying that), will I wind up rocking or dancing, I sure hope rocking, because nobody wants to see me dance.

Opener “Mantis” starts out pretty much what I was expecting, futuristic synths with pulsating and injections of power metal, fused with crisp, frenetic vocals from Claudia Gigante, all while maintaining a heavy, anthemic riff. A bit slower riff on “Titans of Dune” coupled with ambient vocals and rhythmic tempo that merges into a reggae/rock beat but somehow keeps it heavy enough with thumping drums and vigorous guitar work. A true dance party beat on “Six Feet Underground” with grooving synths and riffs interlocking around snappy vocals and chorus, this song would work well in a dance club or a hard seltzer commercial. A song titled “Pit of Violence” shouldn’t be danceable, and it’s a rocker, opening with a heavy guitar mixed in with synths backed by thunderous drums and balanced with angelic but aggressive vocals.

This is an album most metalheads would not admit liking, myself included with all the danceable beats and synthesizers, this album is very diverse musically and could easily be a soundtrack to a video game. KALAH has perfectly blended heaviness, Electro, and light Thrash into a captivating and gripping mish-mosh of futuristic, yet modern music. The vocal stylings of Claudia Gigante are electrifying, melodic and dark and so are the lyrics, “Obey the taste of blood, our souls have been destroyed”, “Forget Humanity, we’re a cold piece of stone”, “Everything around us burns, I’m lost in this river”. There’s enough heavy riffing on this album to keep my “Heavy Metal Head Banging” membership card from being revoked, despite shaking my booty (sorry for that visual) while I listened to the album.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mantis
2. Titans of Dune
3. Six Feet Underground
4. Sand
5. Ejecta
6. Pit of Violence
7. Red
8. The River
9. Side Effects
10. Crows Calling At Night
11. Mermaids Cry
12. Aphelion
Lineup:
Claudia Gigante – vocals
Marco Monacelli - guitars
Dario Trentini – keys/synths
Mario Grassi – lead guitar
Enrico Menozzi – bass
Alessio Monacelli - drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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