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Kaleidobolt - Bitter

by Dave Nowels at 21 May 2019, 8:30 AM

Helsinki, Finland can proudly claim KALEIDOBOLT, a Stoner/Psych/Prog power trio who have just released the quite intriguing “Bitter” via Svart Records. This is their third release, but the first one to have graced my ears. In a sometimes stagnant genre of cliche' laden, unoriginal and repetitive music, KALEIDOBOLT seem to be on to something here.

Things kick off with “Another Toothpick” and initially, this seemed to be going in the direction of an instrumental. Ultimately, there were vocals, but leading up to them, it was the hypnotic spell of music that drew me in. Nearly immediately it's apparent this isn't your standard Stoner/Psych band content to rely on a droning, fuzz laden riff. That's where the Prog element jumps in and declares this drastically different. There's so much happening musically, that I can't even begin to explain it, but just know it's a great start. “Big Sky Land” takes a bit of a different course, but achieves a similar result. Here, the vocals are prominent right from the beginning with a Lemmy-like flavor, co-mingling with an Iommi/Ward/Butler groove. This must be what a Kilmister fronted BLACK SABBATH could have sounded like, and, it's glorious.

“I Am The Seer” instantly grabbed me with it's Psych/Prog approach. Crazy time/tempo changes with  some of the best musical qualities/talent I've heard this year. There is so much depth and dangerous intention competing here. Easily a go-to track. “Dead Pan Blues” is an effect laden romp into a bluesy texture that never feels contrived. The Lemmy reminiscent vocals are back, though I'm unsure if it's Kääriäinen or Menestrina delivering them, but no matter, they're a perfect match here as are the cleaner vocals on tracks like “…Toothpick” and “…Seer”. The different vocals simply add a another layer of depth and dexterity.

“Interlude” is just that. A bridge from “Dead Pan Blues” to “Coyote” melding elements of both, yet not staying at all complacent. “Coyote” reminds me quite a bit of “Vapor Trails” era RUSH at times, which, when combined with the vocals creates yet another fascinating dynamic. “Hydra” closes us out with pure power riffs and thundering drums.  Not to be overlooked, Lindholm is a monster on the drum kit throughout the album. Creative, innovative and yet familiar. “Hydra” is a great choice to close out “Bitter” as it seems to combine every element displayed so far in one hefty song.  I really enjoyed “Bitter” quite a bit. It'll be an album that will require additional listens, and likely one I won't get bored with any time soon. I also have a feeling I'll be doing a bit of back research on KALEIDOBOLT's catalog to see what I've been missing.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Another Toothpick
2. Big Sky Land
3. I Am The Seer
4. Deadpan Blues
5. Interlude
6. Coyote
7. Hydra
Sampo Kääriäinen - Guitar, Vocals
Marco Menestrina - Bass, Vocals
Valtteri Lindholm - Drums
Record Label: Svart Records


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Edited 20 September 2019

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