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Kaleidobolt- This One Simple Trick (2022, Svart Records)

Can’t help showing you this snippet I wrote about Kaleidobolt’s album The Zenith Cracks ages ago on the Bearded Gentlemen Blog:

From Finland hails the awesomely monikered Kaleidobolt. On their second album The Zenith Cracks they prove to be an excellent jam band, conjuring the spirit of ‘70’s rock bands like Thin Lizzy and Blue Cheer while having absolutely no regard for songwriting rules or sense of time in general. What makes their sound so recommendable is its grittiness, the feeling of being surrounded by angry hobos that have accused you of stealing their meth. A band like Bison BC is similar in this respect, only Kaleidobolt are less heavy and more expansive in their approach. Hobo psych rock jam extravaganza. A perfect soundtrack for getting “strunk”, or whatever your mates call it when your stoned and drunk at the same time.

Plenty of hardworking and hard touring years, another album (Bitter), and a couple of rounds on the grindstone called life later and Kaleidobolt present their latest version of themselves: This One Simple Trick. It is a nice and composed work, still featuring some of their wild hairs, but definitely also turning into more accessible grounds and perhaps even opening up completely new markets for these Finns.

Album opener Fantastic Corps still storms out of the gate like some fuzzed up pack of Hellacoptered wolves. First single I Should Be Running is a completely different ballgame though, with a catchy chorus and gradual built-up towards ferocity near the end. It is a song that might have been written by a bigger band like The Black Keys, if they worked out more and weren’t so stuck up their own backsides.

Open mindedness and pure rock ‘n roll joy is key here, as the record jumps up and down from surf rock to psychedelic twirls, always with heavy sixties feels. The heavy fuzzed out bass and pounding drums are pushing the album towards the present, and it is also worth noting that while the songs are a pretty varied bunch of daffodils, they all have a very definable Kaleidobolt stamp.

Here is a “stoner” band that dares to defy the mold, while maintaining the fuzzy heaviness, they explore different nooks and crannies in the rock ‘n roll spectrum. Weirdo Shrine notices and applauds this. Let’s see how the European crowds respond…

Kaleidobolt

La Morte Vienne Dallo Spazio- Trivial Visions (2021 Svart Records)

La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio: death comes from space. If you are -unlike me- not a complete moron when it comes to Italian you might have unravelled that mysterious band name by yourself already. To know it is to hear it too; because it is exactly what these Italian Startrek loving void cruisers sound like.

The music is dark, there are clear traces of (black?) metal, through guitars and drums. Keyboards and synths are dominant though, and the main feeling through out Trivial Visions is that of being hurled into a black hole eighties style; in sloppy 2-D, with 8-bit special effects. Which is wonderful of course, and weird. Wonderfully weird. A band like Giobia (who they share members with) sounded this spacey before, but without the metallic touch, and considering bands like Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising are also on their roster, it is not surprising Svart Records signed them.

I like how a lot of these jams are instrumental, how the band invites you to fill in the blanks and create your own creepy sci-fi movie in your mind. Sometimes theremin/synth/keyboard muse Melissa Crema does lend her voice for some reverb-drenched postpunk singing, like a drugged and distorted Siouxie Sioux, but most of the time it’s just you and the band for the ride.

A wonderful ride it is too, its 41 minutes are so extremely vivid and adventurous they feel like a ride in an amusement park to me, and over before you know it. In all its goth sci-fi horror schtick it sometimes threatens to be a bit cheesy and over the top too, but when the whole trip is so freaking exhilarating, there is no way that’s stopping anyone from falling head over leather clad heels in love with it. It’s space man, it’s death from space, it’s La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio; one of the most exciting and thrilling space rides you’ll experience this year.

Dark Buddha Rising-Mathreyata (2020 Svart Records)

I saw the members of Dark Buddha Rising at the Roadburn Festival, performing together with their Finnish brethren Oranssi Pazuzu in their collaborative project Wast Of Space Orchestra. It was by far the best show of the entire weekend. Central to their performance was a sense of ritual, of complete concentration towards some higher (or lower) goal. The repetition, the otherworldly visual presentation, the menacing sonic cathedral they were building was quite magnanimous. On their own albums I was never so convinced about Dark Buddha Rising as I was that night, that is, until now.

For Mathreyata brings back that similar feeling of focused ritual, a slight difference being that this time the performance is even more repetitive and persistent. You kind of get the creeping suspicion they are up to something, as if you probably should not play this too loud at your home at night. Strange things might happen…

Strange things might happen…

We start the journey with the mesmerizing Sunyaga, thirteen minutes of pulsating doom. The band takes you on a plodding pace downwards in a spiraling maelstrom. The earthy pathway starts to become warmer, and as the endless repetition becomes heavier and more intense, a creeping sensation of dread envelops the listener: we are heading towards the earth’s core! As Dark Buddha Rising’s shamanistic vocals start screaming, your ears want to wake up from this nightmare, but still the dark forces move you down, down, down, plod, plod, plod, into the fiery pits of hell.

Nagathma starts with the realization of this dread, and a desolate outlook upon Hell’s outer reaches on which nothing grows. The vocals sound mournful now, panicked at times, and the atmosphere is so extremely dense and suffocating that you start to hallucinate. A strange and frightening kind of psychedelic vision unfurls, and still the repetitive chants lead you onwards. Halfway through the music builds a tower of angry screams, which rain down like lit arrows. You start screaming with chorus in agony, and then it is suddenly over and Suni begins.

Suni takes us deeper through the maelstrom where its cavernous tunnels only hold a faint mysterious glow. You hear drums in the distance, and completely entranced you stumble on. Dark Buddha Rising controls your every move now, and you have ceased resistance, this reverb drenched bliss starts to feel quite nice actually…

Mahatgata III is the equalizer. Its majestic tones lead the listener to the album’s final altar, deep underneath the earth’s crust in a pulsating atmosphere. The path strangely leads us up now, to a broad set of stairs and towards a maddening spectacle. On top of the stairs an altar becomes visible, and behind it Dark Buddha Rising’s members stand with long ritualistic daggers in hand. As the shaman vocalist starts to scream unintelligible mantras, the other two mercilessly grab your arms and force you on the black stone table. You look up and the sky begins to spiral as twenty-thousand daggers start to come at you from all sides. A piercing final scream, and then darkness.

Mathreyata is a monolithic experience. Strange, dark, lethal. I guess I would recommend it to listeners that would like to experience the true meaning of the word doom in doom metal. However, this review also comes with a warning: the first time you listen to this album completely from start to finish might also be your last…