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Konkhra – Alpha and the Omega

Konkhra
Alpha and the Omega
by Cherie Wong at 15 October 2019, 6:04 AM

In a few days, the prolific KONKHRA will release “Alpha and the Omega.” They formed in Denmark in 1988 as VICIOUS CIRCLE. In 1990, they issued their first demo before renaming themselves KONKHRA. From then until 2009, they have put out a steady stream of EPS, demos, and full-length releases. “Alpha and the Omega” marks their first album after a ten-year hiatus. Although the band has undergone many a lineup change, the members credited on “Alpha and the Omega” have all been involved on previous releases. Notably, Anders Lundemark, Kim  Mathiesen, and Johnny Nielsen last worked together on the 2003 full-length release “Reality Check.” Martin Kristensen was last credited on the 1992 EP “Stranded.”

On this record, you can expect death metal with strong groove elements and a bit of thrash elements. Most of the songs on the album are mid-tempo with a fantastic groove, only briefly speeding up into a thrashier riff. The guitar solos are not too technical but serve well at breaking up the low tone of the songs. The album is well produced as it is clean but not overly polished. The album begins with the titular song “Alpha and the Omega.” It is a strong start to the album, with an intense riff. The effect on the growls sounds beast-like. One of the teaser tracks “Thoth” is second. Again, there is a great chugging riff. On this song, some quiet choir singing contrasts with the riff for an ominous atmosphere. Next, we skip to the other teaser track “Babylon.” The riffs on this track are a real head-banger. The song owes its groove to the kick-heavy drumming.

A track that sticks out to me is “Sandblasted,” due to the heavy groove influence. The vocals on this song are reminiscent of nu-metal in that they are yelled rather than growled. It contrasts with most of the other songs, in which the vocals are usually a guttural growl. “Misled” is another track with this vocal style. I prefer the use of that vocal style in this song because the riffs are more interesting. On “By Instinct be Driven,” the tempo picks up slightly, especially during the solo. Since the album leans towards the mid-tempo range, the speed is appreciated. The band is great at composing slower tempo songs with rhythm, such as the outro of “Darkest Millenium.” Overall, I recommend this album as it is enjoyable death metal. The groove and thrash elements make this album fun to listen to.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Alpha and the Omega
2. Thoth
3. Divine Wind
4. Babylon
5. Bow to Moloch
6. Blood Reign
7. Floodgates
8. Sandblasted
9. Misled
10. By Instinct be Driven
11. Darkest Millenium
12. I Am Ra
Lineup:
Anders Lundemark – Vocals/Guitar
Kim "Hakim" Mathiesen – Guitar
Martin Kristensen – Backing Vocals/Bass
Johnny Nielsen – Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records
     


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