The last few years have seen an explosion of bands that are combining various aspects of extreme metal, electronica and industrial music. While their earlier forerunners often ended up being an abortion of nu-metal riffage and conceptual garbage, the newer breed has a broader sonic palette. Well, here comes another band to join the neu industrial metal front.
Khadaver is from Slovankia and has been around since 2004. While relatively still in developmental phases, this EP shows the struggle for a unique identity in an increasingly saturated scene. Surprisingly, they succeed and have ended up with some immensely catchy songs.
From the opener “Fear at Horrorween Dot Com”, it becomes clear that archetypical and warm sounding synth sequences are an important part of the sound, which basically relies on mid-paced simplistic metal to get its point across. What is interesting that most songs shift into a black metal overdrive (while not increasing the pace i.e. no blasts). This is achieved by slightly more frenzied riffing, and the near classic sounding screeches of vocalist (which come as a surprise after the by-the-numbers vocals in other places). The above mentioned opener and “Mannequin” both fit this description, alternating mid-paced industrial metal with black metal choruses. The thing that stood out for me most, is the fact that when the riffs and vocals increase their intensity, the underlying synthesizer patterns take on a new meaning : symphonic. In fact, if you just heard those sections, you would be hard-pressed not to classify it as mid-paced symphonic black metal. The band is smart enough to compensate for their basic formula , by sprinkling numerous other sections (from more typical drum n bass to near thrash/hardcore) into the tracks. “Cyber Lust” has a slightly grooving edgy main riff, and mixes it up with at least 3 vocal styles.
The mood of the EP varies from quite dark to near uplifting. The simple melodies hook themselves into your mind with repeated listens (witness the main motif of “Industrial Revolution). I have a few gripes, namely the clichéd song titles, the by the numbers cyber-metal lyrics, and the lack of more intense / intricate riffing. But given that this is the debut, I am sure the band will further their sound, and may even create an AGM classic in their future. What I know for sure is that it’s hard not to bob your head or tap your foot to this.
1. Fear [at] Horrorween [dot] Com
3. Cyber Lust
4. Industrial Revolution
5. Nuclear Fields