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Kardashev – Liminal Rite Award winner

Kardashev
Liminal Rite
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 17 May 2022, 6:54 AM

From their record label page, “A self-described “Deathgaze” group, KARDASHEV is for fans of THE CONTORTIONIST, RIVERS OF NIHIL, DEVIN TOWNSEND, ALCEST – among others. Their mission statement could be described as: “Attempting to create the most beautiful, heavy music through themes of love, loss and altruism in the metal spectrum.” Much of the band’s lyrical content is written about science, space and the human condition.” The new album contains eleven tracks.

“The Approaching of Atonement” opens the album. It features solemn spoken words until it segues rather quickly into “Silvered Shadows.” It begins with thunderous drumming, some nifty lead and bass guitar work, and dreamy vocals. Snippets of melody are soon dashed by raging harsh vocals. The sound drops to beautiful atmospheric tones before roaring back. The melodies here are very graceful but also done with a good deal of yearning. “Apparitions in Candlelight” opens with a very heavy and powerful sound, mostly from the drums which are propelled forward at the speed of light. Calm waters occupy the chorus, but upheaval acts swiftly in the Metal world. “Dissever” is another very short interlude of peace and tranquility. Enjoy these moments while they last.

“Lavender Calligraphy” picks up where “Dissever” left off but with some light drumming. The song title is quizzical in the sense that it seems like two words that just don’t go together at all. Besides the heavier passages which are near annihilation in their delivery, squirm between these lines to find the beauty within. “The Blinding Threshold” is the third interlude of sorts between the monstrous sounds presented on the album. Though the spoken words sound more like the ramblings of a madman, they might also be the ramblings of a genius reaching some form of self-actualization. “Compost Grave-Song” is a punishingly slow sound with heavy accents and vocals filled with rage. The only thing that will sooth his mind is an occasional moment where he lets his guard down. But there is to be no absolution here.

“Cellar of Ghosts” might refer to the proverbial bad place we all have and are so adept at keeping it away from others. Though it opens with a weighted haste, the melodies here are simply stunning. There is poetry that goes with all the bad things we did, because conventional wisdom would say that we learn from these mistakes, move on and become better people. “Glass Phantoms” begins with a punishing and brutal sound from impossibly fast drums and horrid vocals. Just before the half-way mark, the sound takes a brief pause, with snippets of melody coming through. This is an intense and angry sound.

“A Vagabond’s Lament” is a beastly eight-minute song. It opens with light and dreamy tones along with a bit of bass. As the title suggests, the atmosphere is quite solemn. Allow this one to soak in and it will make your heart ache by the end. The lengthy “Beyond the Passage of Embers” closes the album. There is a long, ambient lead-in before the riff snaps and breaks your bones. The vocal harmonies are both charismatic and sorrowful at the same time. The harsh vocals sound like the last breaths of a dying man, but he isn’t giving in without a fight. Spoken words tell a tale of a twisted world of change, as the main fails to recognize his home. Anger sets in, and the entire rest of the song is reflective of a man’s resolve.

This is a contender for AOTY for sure. “Liminal Rite” is both one of the most brutal and aggressive Metal albums you have heard this year, but also one of the most sublime. Picture the mind of a seriously ill patient…one who can be as calm as the early morning quiet but also one who can snap and rage violently at the drop of a hat. His tortured mind doesn’t allow him the control or deference to exist in the outside world. In a way, we are all this person. We all want to scream at the top of our lungs at injustices in our lives and in the world, and also we yearn to have someone call back and help us through these our darkest hours. This is humanity. For me, this album is about triumph of the human spirit, a battle which we must undertake nearly every day.

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

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Approaching of Atonement
2. Silvered Shadows
3. Apparitions in Candlelight
4. Dissever
5. Lavender Calligraphy
6. The Blinding Threshold
7. Compost Grave-Song
8. Cellar of Ghosts
9. Glass Phantoms
10. A Vagabond's Lament
11. Beyond the Passage of Embers
Lineup:
Nico Mirolla – Guitar
Mark Garrett – Vocals
Alex Rieth – Bass
Sean Lang – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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