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Kandia - Quaternary Award winner

by Kevin Lewis at 16 May 2022, 3:30 PM

KANDIA is a Modern Rock/Modern Metal band from Portugal. “Quaternary,” their third full-length release, came out January 21, 2022, on Frontiers Records SRL. Moving from ambient and moody to sludgy to ethereal and back, they have a sound that is often soothing, but at times brutal. They work in all of these areas with equal skill and ease.

The disc starts with a piano and some very somber tones. “Anthropocene” grows slowly, adding drums and keys and strings to the ever-growing composition that crashes into “Obliterate.” The transition is really good and carrying the musical theme through the two songs is really ties them together well. Nya goes from clean and clear to gritty on vocals depending on the mood and heaviness of the song. The fade out is excellent and wraps the suite together in a killer way.

The riff on “Fight or Flight” is nice. It has a bit of a nu-metal feel to go along with the modern metal stylings. The tuning is interesting. Nya goes almost full fry vocals on the chorus, adding extra grit. The lead and solo work on the guitar are awesome. The keyboards add a futuristic sound to the song, giving it some additional depth and ambience.

Turn Of the Tides” has a bit of a chugging rhythm and the riff matches it beautifully. The vocals are clean and higher in register than some of the other songs in many places. Andre’s guitars rule this song. As good as the vocals and backing instruments are, somehow, the guitars impress more on this one, though I cannot explain why. I just know I particularly love the guitar work on this track.

Deathwish” gets the award for guitar/keyboard collaboration, especially during the intro. The combination of guitar/key coordination and offsets are pretty killer on this song. This is one of the songs that really shows the compositional skills of the writers. The shifts in tempo and the variety of tones that take the lead really work well on this one. The keyboard solo on this track sets it apart, especially when the drums step up and get busy at the end.

The ending track, “Holocene,” begins with some ethereal, haunting vocals and keyboard tones. The guitar is gentle and solemn at the start but gets more ethereal as the song progresses. The vocals are hauntingly beautiful. The consistent build, leading to the inevitable crescendo is fantastic. They build the song as expertly as they drop it down and wrap it up with the same theme as it started.

KANDIA is damn good at what they do. The heavy is solid and the softer side is moving and emotional. The mixture is excellent. They build songs up with steady, sensible growth, never trying to rush or restrain the build. The music feels natural and organic, not forced. The whole disc is elegant, using well-thought-out phrases, musically and vocally, that create a dynamic soundscape.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Anthropocene
2. Obliterate
3. The Flood
4. Fight or Flight
5. Until the End
6. Turn of The Tide
7. PBP
8. Deathwish
9. Murderers (Ft. Jorgen Munkeby)
10. A New Dawn
11. Holocene
Nya Cruz – Vocals
André Da Cruz – Guitars/Bass
Recorded with:
Daniel Cardoso – Drums/Synth/Bass
Paolo Martins – Synth 
Record Label: Frontiers Records SRL


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