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Kavara - Weathered & Lost

Weathered & Lost
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 15 July 2019, 4:21 AM

KAVARA is a Canadian, Ontario Melodic Death Metal band.  “Weathered & Lost” is their first full length; they also released the “Overthrown” EP in 2016.  The album begins with the title track, “Weathered & Lost,” that is a playful mix of a music box style tune but with symphonic leanings.  It stops suddenly around the 52 second mark and the first full length track, “A Mind Betwixt,” kicks in the door.  I am immediately reminded of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERKAVARA don’t particularity sound like them but they have a similar vocal style—vocalist Serena uses that dual style of switching back and forth between low growls and high screams.

Musically, they have a lot of modern influences built within their MDM approach. A sort of neo thrash sound, like SHADOWS FALL or an early Metalcore vibe along the lines of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.    The combinations of all these sounds gives the music a very fresh feeling, despite the fact they obviously aren’t the first band to go this route.  However, the musicianship is tight and the energy is high—for a debut album, the band is really spot on with their approach and are comfortable within their sound.  Unfortunately, their modern influences also extend to the production—it is just too clean for my tastes and I feel it cuts out of some of their intensity.

MacBibbon and Strange’s interplay hearkens back to old IN FLAMES and COB, with those dueling melodies.  The melodies at the 1:46 mark of “A Mind Betwixt,” brought me back to the late 90’s and early 2000’s when I first got into Melodic Death. The band can pummel as effectively as they litter the landscape with their melodies and harmonies.  The fourth track, “Tormentor,” opens with some lead guitar, backed by Spinny’s impressive bass that peaks thru the chaos.  As the song speeds up after a minute or so, Cummer’s crisp but hard hitting drums keep the whole song firmly grounded into a more Death Metal approach even when the song ups the melodic atmosphere, such as around the four and a half minute mark that is marked by more ambient textures.

The album is solid all the way through, without a bad track even if some of them do begin to sound the same.  However, the talent is still there as noted in one of the later tracks, “Bloodlust,” features some of the album’s more potent riffs and interesting use of the lead guitar. The final track, “Let The Carnage Manifest,” is one of the best tracks because it sounds like a much better version of modern ARCH ENEMY.  The light uses of keys as a subtle but effective touch to the intensity.

KAVARA is definitely a band to be on the look out for, especially if you like the more modern approach of extreme Metal or if ARCH ENEMY bores you now.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Weathered & Lost
2. A Mind Betwixt
3. Scarecrow
4. Tormentor
5. The Reaper
6. Death Sentence
7. Mark My Words
8. Lawn Care
9. Bloodlust
10. Walk of Shame
Spinny Guilbault – Bass, backing vocals
Steve Cummer – Drums
Mike MacGibbon – Guitars
Chris Strange – Guitars
Serena Dorton -  Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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