(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Hong Kong’s Karmacipher, which was released on April 30 by Infree Records.)
Before we go any further, please indulge me for a moment, if you will (or just skip on down to the “Continue reading” button) while I go off on a little bit of a tangent.
It’s undeniable that a lot of Metal writing/reviewing tends to focus on bands from Europe and North America. Sure, South America gets an occasional look-in, while isolated outliers like Iceland and Australia have been punching well above their weight over the last couple of years, but generally speaking bands from Africa and/or Asia in particular still tend to struggle to get wider coverage.
Heck, even when they do, they’re often either treated with patronising condescension or exoticised for having some sort of cultural “gimmick” (see every band who’s been given a 10/10 review just because they use native instruments or sing in a language other than English), and it’s always struck me as a little bit off the way certain sections of the Metal media seem to insist that bands need to sound authentically “foreign” or “exotic” enough before they’ll cover them.
The truth is that great music, great Metal, can come from anywhere. And it doesn’t/shouldn’t have to fit into some preconceived notion of what music from a certain place “should” sound like.
Case in point, there’s nothing about the sublime second album from this Hong Kong trio which ties it to a specific location, nationality or culture. But that doesn’t matter. Because the only culture it’s trying to represent is Death Metal, and it does that phenomenally.