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Kamala - Karma Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 16 March 2023, 4:51 AM

The Brazilian Metal scene has many excellent names to show to the world, as they’re bringing different insight in older Metal genres. Of course, there are copies as well, but there are those that deserves to ascend to the same level of acts as SEPULTURA, SARCÓFAGO, VULCANO, ANGRA and others that are recognized for their works. And one of the finest names of Brazilian Metal scene is KAMALA, of the city of Campinas (SP). And the trio is back for another round with “Karma”, their new album. As their sixth studio album, what one can expect of “Karma”?

The answer is simple: the trio is known for making a blend of Thrash Metal with elements inherited of Death Metal. But this time, unlike 2015’s “Mantra” and 2018’s “Eyes of Creation” seems to be working more on the Thrash Metal side of their music, kind of ‘strip off’ of their Death Metal traces sometimes, creating many musical hooks; but paying attention, the album is filled with different touches (as the female vocals used on “Karma”, and even some Oriental melodies, as heard on “My Will Be Done”) and modern elements that appears in some arrangements, something new and fresh. It’s different, it’s excellent, it’s KAMALA, of course!

Like a rupture with their albums, the band brought back Ricardo Biancarelli (guitarist of ADRAMMA and a known producer of the region who previously worked with the band on their live album “Live in France”, and worked with acts as PÓSTUMA, DESDOMINUS, KIKO SHRED, MORDETH, THY LIGHT, and many others) to produce, mix and master the songs of “Karma”. The sonority is ‘dry’ and defined, clean and sharp, but with many cares, especially on the choice of the instrumental tunes and for some points that some don’t understand (the lack of rhythm guitars during the solos is a feature of KAMALA’s music to be reproduced alive and to give to it an organic feeling). And what a great artwork was created by Felipe Rostodella, giving the right feeling of what the fans will have on the album.

“Karma” is really an excellent album, and a proof that KAMALA is an amazing and creative band that’s only waiting to be discovered by you all. “Forgive the Weak” (a live hit for sure) opens the album as a ferocious song full of many melodic hooks, with many traces of Hardcore/Crossover, and what excellent work on bass guitar and drums. On “Karma”, there are many unusual rhythms for Thrash Metal and some modern traces inherited of Melodic Thrash Metal (as some guitar riffs), and the contrasts between the aggressive male vocals with defined female tunes is excellent.

With a more admitted set of rhythms, “My Will Be Done” seems to be a live hit: easy to sing, easy to headbanging, easy for moshpiting, and what great guitar riffs and arrangements. With some more modern arrangements and touches, “Made Me Bleed” is a savage flux of energy that impacts in the brain, but always with many melodic details (as the contrast between some silk melodic moments with female voices once more). Some dynamical and modern guitar arrangements can be heard on “Fear”, a heavy song guided by a clear work of bass guitar and drums, but what a lovely chorus. The same can be said about “Never Enough”, a song that imposes a set of gummy moments (as the female and male vocals contrasts).

Bringing back some elements heard on “Mantra” (with some excellent percussive touches and clean guitars), “Dharma” (the word is linked to the set of teachings of Buddha) just prepares the ears for “Delusion”, another song that brings some touches of Melodic Death Metal again, what creates some personal melodic hooks for the fans. Closing the album, some piledriving Death Metal drumming entangled with modern elements opens “Misery and Pain”, a song filled with a fresh energy and charming guitar riffs (but pay attention to a Progressive lysergic moment, where bass guitar plays an important role).

For those that don’t know, “Karma” is a word of sanscrit, कर्म. It can explain in many Oriental religions (as Buddhism and Hinduism) the relationship between sum of the intentions and acts of an individual in the present (cause) can influence his/her future (consequence). And it fits on the positive appeal that KAMALA’s music has. Once more, KAMALA created a masterpiece, so listen to and enjoy “Karma” as you want.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Forgive the Weak
2. Karma
3. My Will Be Done
4. Made Me Bleed
5. Fear
6. Never Enough
7. Dharma
8. Delusion
9. Misery and Pain
Raphael Olmos - Vocals, Guitars
Zé Cantelli - Bass
Isabela Moraes - Drums, Vocals
Record Label: M&O Music


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