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NaKhArA - The Procession Award winner

NaKhArA
The Procession
by Barbie Rose at 01 March 2021, 8:41 PM

From Rambouillet, France, NAKHARA released “The Procession” on February 6 2021.  Influenced from the french band PITBULLS IN THE NURSERY: NAKHARA combines death metal, progressive metal, together with electronics reminiscent of space age almost atmospheric sounds.

“Commination” - the first album track opens with pre-recorded sounds–over which the listeners hear the Sitar (or something resembling the sound of it). Drums together with guitars and bass suddenly enter as though finalizing a musical phrase. The guitars have a blazingly heavy, near viscous distortion sound - and the bass has a pleasantly loud mix.  The sitar sound resumes as the guitars and rhythm section ascend into a short bridges preparing listeners to move toward a more formal song; short bits continuously re-assert-but then regress–allowing for the sitar sound to resume - beneath the distorted guitar & bass simply sustaining the chord root: even short single stroke rolls on the snare drum - perhaps with slow ascensions along scale degrees, but with frequent returns to the root key structure. These short bouts of classic metal instrumentation excite the listener with anticipation for the song to commence.

Multiple guitar tracks combine arpeggiation on the higher strings - while fully distorted rhythm guitars maintain & sustain power chords. Extensive use of chromatics between the guitar and bass (often over classic double bass drum rolls) create a unique feeling of elevation - as though listeners are in a world that can’t find stable ground–I really enjoy this innovative use of chromaticism; further interesting notions are modal shifts resound amidst the guitar chords. A guitar solo is played on a nylon stringed classical style guitar. Wonderful writing!

“The Procession” - the second album track opens with moderately quick strumming of an undistorted electric guitar - over pre-recorded sounds of spacious demonic breath(?) or breeze– all of which are over a synthesized pedal tone. An immensely fast thrash beat begins (over the strumming of the undistorted guitar) together with rhythm guitars and bass. The bass uses more innovative chromatics that add variety to a melodic ascension that, like a vestibule, bridges to the verses; for which, the immensely fast thrash beat returns. The song utilizes guitar leads that more traditionally resound through metal - but still there is no innovation lacking here. The sitar, replete with deep pitch bends, elaborately enhances slower moments of the song - which, combined with the sound of the fully distorted rhythm guitar can be hauntingly alluring.

“Until The End” - the third album track begins with guitars quickly ascending and descending short sixteenth note patterns of motivic notions–almost similar to the rhythms of a muted thrash yet melodically & musically superior. The melodic notions continue with repetition - and are occasionally doubled or (ornamentally) harmonized by synthesized keyboards. Guitar leads eventually inherit previous synthesized keyboard ornamentation before the song more fades into spacious electronic sounds.

“All These Voices” - the fourth album track opens harmonic use of chromatic chord progressions. As the song title indicates, numerous “regular” (non-metal) singing voices are often overdubbed.   Momentary bouts of well accentuated rhythm guitar, drums, and bass strengthen rhythmic groove for a more death metal style vocal growl. The song turns more to an undistorted, non metallic, still demonic– reminiscent of “Secular Haze” by GHOST - and even “Mr. Tilly and His Gang” by the Swedish rock band RITUAL.

“7th Sense - Creative Destruction” - the fifth album track opens with synthesized keyboards and open chords planing with superimposed chordal suspensions.  With shorter bouts of speedy thrash, still much of the song “floats” slowly along on a pedal tone - between the heavily distorted guitar and bass. Before long - the sitar is replaced with the nylon string “classical” guitar–together with acoustic guitars dubbed into the mix as well: before the song ends, the song reverts to former bouts of speedy thrash - over which bits of sitar are dubbed.

“Grey Sky” - the sixth album track opens, musically, with a high register a chromatic style melody in the soprano register of the sitar over a fully distorted lower register wound string rhythm guitar; growling vocals add a (Consequent) phrase to the interrogative query posed by the melodic phrase of soprano register. Drums add additional statements of rhythmic phrases–reinforcing the latter consequent phrase - this is extremely interesting and absolutely innovative in the world of heavy metal. Similar “question / answer” phrase constructions occur vocally (sometimes electronically enhanced) - through rhythmic &/or melodic phrase constructions.

“No Justice No Peace” - The seventh album track opens with perfectly syncopated accentuation through the subdivided beats on the drums.  While this is in no way a drum solo - it is apparently a Concerto for the Drums.  The song moves to twelve eight time-signature (fast triplets over a slow four / four time); and I feel the gloriously repulsive energy of the rhythmic counterpoint - I need to break something. I LOVE this. The song ends in a chromatic style of modern fusion with distorted leads over clean arpeggiated guitars.

“Submerged” - The eighth album track opens with the sound of a prerecorded breeze (as though in a field). A moderately distorted guitar lick with a subdivided rhythmic motif enters for a cacophony of drums & guitars, playing both rhythm and leads at blazing speeds. The bass reiterates & continues the original guitar lick with other short momentary variations–some of which utilize interestingly accented chromatic pulls against the root note - which will capture if not pique the interest of listeners.  The presence of bass is pleasantly strong.  The stylistic use of chromatics is without parallel in metal. The song ends without guitar distortion - but with airy chordal suspensions.

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

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Commination
2. The Procession
3. Until The End
4. All These Voices
5. 7th Sense - Creative Destruction
6. Grey Sky
7. No Justice No Peace
8. Submerged
Lineup:
Saïmon Thevenet - Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 11 April 2021
 

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