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Kardashev: The Baring of Shadows

For those who are convinced they’ve heard this EP a while ago, you’re not crazy. It was originally self-released in May 2020 and then was picked up by Metal Blade and reissued in May 2021. The difference between the original release and this one is that the band provides instrumental versions of every track.

Kardashev describe themselves as “deathgaze” which means that they combine the rough and ready side of death metal with the ethereal, atmospheric, and introverted style of shoegaze. According to the band, the goal is to create “the most beautiful, heavy music through themes of love, loss and altruism in the metal spectrum.” While some listeners may raise an eyebrow at that, there’s nothing essentially odd about trying to find beauty amid the chaos. Kardashev isn’t the first band that wants to find something beautiful in the extremes. No, Kardashev will not likely open up for Cannibal Corpse anytime soon, but not everything has to be about blood, sweat, and entrails. Fans of The Contortionist, Rivers of Nihil, Devin Townsend, Alcest, and others will probably feel right at home with this one.

The four tracks that make up this EP set up the band’s overall objectives pretty well. There’s a distinctive sense of vulnerability on every track. This is a band that likes to sing about loss and love and tragedy, and the music definitely carries a sense of melancholy from start to finish. As I listened to this release, I often found myself thinking about its meditative and calming effects. Central to this are Mark Garrett’s vocals. Garrett has a talent for singing high without sounding artificial or ridiculous. At times, his voice takes on a firm but meditative quality that might remind you of something closer to chant or to choral music than death metal. I wouldn’t mind a whole album of this band doing the shoegaze thing. But, not surprisingly, the death metal elements show up, first as unwelcome interruptions and then as unusual pairings that almost always work more than you’d expect. You see, the band never quite lets the harsher aspects of their music overwhelm everything else. Of the four tracks, I liked “A Frame. A Light” and “Snow-Sleep” the most. “Snow-Sleep” was especially stirring.

Kardashev is a terrific band and this EP really demonstrates their commitment to trying something new.

Track Listing:
1. A Frame. A Light
2. Snow-Sleep
3. Torchpassing
4. Heartache
5. A Frame. A Light (Instrumental)
6. Snow-Sleep (Instrumental)
7. Torchpassing (Instrumental)
8. Heartache (Instrumental)

Added: July 12th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 290
Language: english

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