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Featured debut

Kalibos : HexA

The debut full-length from Kalbos is a heavy, rumbling groove of accomplished sludgy Doom.

Doom fans take note: Berlin has produced a prodigy of quality pedigree playing songs to blow ear drums and speakers, Kalibos. Formed in 2008, this band is not to be confused with the Kalibos that performs Black Metal which is also from Germany. Maintaining the key ingredients to create a proper Doom album, the band also incorporates elements from other branches of the Metal family tree in sculpting their piece of art. Simply put, this is a good band.

The album starts with a simple drum beat accompanied by long bended guitar notes on the first track, 'Úlfhéðinn', and when the tempo is increased, the sound is completely dominated by the low rumble of the guitar and bass. The bit of tremolo picking at the end of the tune was enjoyable, especially married to the huge guitar sound which gave the technique a much fuller sound than other bands' attempts. The momentum was increased for the next track, 'Colossus'. When the guitar hit the low, open notes, it was clear that the speakers were being pushed to the max during the recording because they had the sound of being on the verge of blowing. One of the most diverse songs on the album is the final track, 'The Great Collision,' which starts with soft, clean guitar chords with delay added causing them to echo. The band comes next in along with an acoustic solo which is in turn soloed over by an electric guitar. In the middle of the song, the band drops out and a sample is played. When the band returns, they bring the most dirge-filled, Doom sound on the album with huge saturated chords and chants. Overall, the songs are delivered with the appropriate length, long enough to solidly develop their ideas, but without wearing out their welcome. They also demonstrate ample peaks and valleys between more somber parts and on-ten, full blown brutality.

One gripe with the album is that the bass is not loud enough. Especially within the context of a band that relies upon such an enormous sound, the bass should play a role beyond being faintly audible. The vocals sound strained at times, but overall are gritty with a hint of a different timbre of Neurosis coupled with a bit of Kyuss's John Garcia. The guitar tone is beefed up with a slathering of fuzzy distortion which totally encompasses the band's sound and can truly be felt. It's a tone similar to Josh Homme's Kyuss tone if it was boosted louder and included some buzz saw, a classic, mighty Doom guitar sound; however, let it be known that it still isn't in the league with Eyehategod's Jimmy Bower or Yob's Mike Scheidt. It would be surprising if the equalizer did not have a twelve 'o clock bass, two 'o clock mid and nine 'o clock treble setting. A judicious amount of effects like analog delay are used to color and complete the tone. Overall, the instrumental aspects of the band are on the road to being refined and equate a proud, loud sophomore effort.

Kalibos is certainly bona fide Doom, but they are also something more. The album showcases a band with a raw, organic sound that feels like Rock 'N Roll. Some of the songs have seriously heavy grooves giving the music a bouncing feel. Some of the heavier riffs even sounded like the guitarist may have been listening to At the Gates before finishing writing them. The point is that the band's sound is all their own and there definitely is a very personalized unique musicality to it. One has to wonder, though, with such a heavy, rumbling sound, how audiophile and hi-fi purists would react to playing the album. I'm sure Kalibos doesn't care.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Úlfhéðinn
2. Colossus
3. Eternal Past
4. K53
5. Severance
6. The Great Collision

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Kalibos bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-04-21 by Chris Hawkins
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