(TheMadIsraeli returns to NCS after a break with this review of the new album by Karybdis, which we had the pleasure of premiering here.)
Ok, so I’m really fucking late on this and blah blah blah, really don’t give much of a fuck because I’m back now and NCS shall be restored to its former glory. K? We good with that? Alright.
Talking about what is good music and what good music is in a public setting is near fucking impossible. You’ve always got some post-modernist asshole wanting to tell you about opinions and about tastes who feels the need to remind you, condescendingly, that your opinion is only your opinion, as if it were their responsibility to keep your opinion in check. Not theirs, of course.
Yeah, everyone has their own tastes, everyone has their preferences (as do I, for sure, tightly knit and strict ones), but I never have a problem finding things outside my own niche that I like. At the same time, I think some music is simply undeniable, and that the only reason anyone would dislike it is because they care more about establishing and maintaining their identity rather than simply partaking in and enjoying the art. Karybdis are a band I get such a feeling about.
Now, we already featured a stream of this album a couple weeks back, and if you all had good sense, you got on that shit pronto and broke your computer desks in half. It’s just pure, unrelenting metal at its finest.
First of all, there is no clean vocal bullshit. Second of all, it’s a smart combination of thrash metal, groove metal, melodic death metal, and hardcore that shows an almost self-aware sense of the best elements of all those styles and amazing know-how in putting them together effectively. Combine this with the visceral snarling growls of vocalist Rich O’Donnell, the genre-blending riffs of Harsha Dasari, Pierro Dujardin, and Jay Gladwin, and Mitch McGugan’s to-the-point, balls-to-the-wall drumming, and you have yourself a band who are operating at full capacity on all fronts in a way rarely heard.
From The Depths is an album that has only two speeds: fast and epic, and triumphantly mid-paced and epic. I’ll take either, considering that the melodic ideas of this band combined with emotionally gripping string-work really hits you hard.
If you came into metal awareness around the start of the current century, much of what Karybdis does here will have a ring of familiarity. From The Depths almost comes off as something of a musical museum dedicated to much of the good that came from the last decade. Shades of Daath, Before the Dawn, Shadows Fall, and Hatebreed permeate the fiber of what’s going on here.
The riffs are an assault of classic melodic pedal-point riffing and beefy, chunky, metalcore chugs, grooves, and beatdowns. The thrash riffing is there, too — technical, melodically varied, and interesting, with an attitude overload. This is immediately evident in the album’s first two songs, “Minotaur” and “From the Depths”. They embody everything I’ve talked about up to this point, while the rest of the album devotes itself to varying distributions of the ingredients to create quite a bit of diversity. Some songs are more metalcore, some are more melodic death metal, and some are outright thrash.
This is a really good album that really is worth hearing. The album stream is still up. Go back to it and give it a listen if you haven’t. It’s worth your time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find Karybdis on Facebook here. They also have a web site here. The album and related merch can be acquired on Bandcamp at this location. And last but not least, as we reported in this post, Karybdis will be playing in London on August 14 with Demonic Resurrection, Bloodguard, and Phyrexia.