Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Some of you may remember Sheffield's Kurokuma from my glowing review of their 2014 demo if not go HERE and read about the demo and clue yourself up about these guys as I'd like to do the review here and not repeat their history!These guys are back with a new 3 track EP named "Advorsus" and believe me it's a doozie!

 First off this EP has a HUGE sound courtesy of "Tich at the Mothership" I dunno who Tich is but he's done a stellar job for these guys because as well as keeping the sound heavy you miss none of the subtleties that make this band so original!

When I first hit play on "Advorsus" I was initially slightly disappointed sure it was mountainously heavy and great but I felt with this being their big debut EP I expected it would open more strongly but unlike other bands Kurokuma don't just burst out of the gate and maul you straight away they prefer to sneak up on you...then give you the aural mauling!

Opener "Lust" is a serious hellride of a song the main riff is a kinda cyclic thing that builds and changes subtly throughout so as you barely notice it rising but trust me it does, right up to the halfway point into a punishing squall before being punctuated brilliantly by cowbell this gives way to a pounding but kinda unusual drum beat where the riff changes very subtly into this weird rhythm and riff that for some reason reminds me of music for demented evil circus clowns!!! Now this may sound a bit strange but trust me as with their previous work and their tastes for the unusual this works perfectly!  This leads in to a fantastic epic break that reminds me of a break like modern crust bands such as Tragedy might use before continuing into the cyclic riffing and building on that epic break again to a nice faded ending! Whilst i mainly touch on the musical themes of the song I want to also mention that the bass in this song is phenomenal it sounds ferocious and is popping and roaring all the way through, providing an immense bottom end but also more than that it's like rhythm guitar actually being used to add a depth and texture to the music at the same time and is used with devastating effect! Top that with vocals that seemed to have gone even harsher since the demo and this will destroy your mind both on a level of sheer heaviness and just what the fuck are these guys doing!!! and all this is just in the first song!

Second Track "Dark Triad" clocks in at a near 8 mins opening with darbuka rhythms and Eastern flavored guitar picking the intro draws you in but when the darbuka drops out after a minute or so these guys hit you with a discordant riff which doesn't prepare you for the "drop" because when the bass kicks in it feels almost too early, though I think that is intentional and is a stroke of genius as when the guitars crash down like an avalanche it's just devastating, whilst you think they may have hit you with the best the layers of guitar just keep getting piled on to the point where it's almost claustrophobic in it's bleak and towering sound whilst managing to mutate into a bastardized sludgy head nodder of a riff, which is no mean feat! the trade off on the growled and anguished vocals add to this almost disparate and destructive sound the dynamic is upped by the drums underpinning an almost psychedelic lead break which is just insane and utterly compelling before returning to the sheer avalanche of heaviness before it all collapses slowly and beautifully to a glorious end and altogether just left me stunned!

Third and final track "Kali" is the most conventional of the three and i use the word conventional in reference to these guys very loosely it's a brooding number heavy and sludgy but with great use of dynamics and even has some "chugging" parts to the riff which is where I get "conventional" from but trust me this isn't some kinda lazy mosh-athon riding the "E" for heavy effect the main riff breaks into swirling bridges of psychedelic noise and anguished howls which are really powerful! also the lead break is just amazing just wailing under the crushing main riff with noises I haven't heard since the closing out solos on "Raining Blood" this track just pulses with menace and comes on like a flood of tar just dark and completely inescapable! when the song ended i literally went what the fuck? is that it over? i coulda listened to them hammer that riff for a good 5 mins more!! But i guess that's the key always leave them wanting more!

Kurokuma are one of the most unique bands in the underground scene right now whilst many bands play supremely heavy music and the NXNW area is rife with masters of the monolithic riff and that's no bad thing, it's why i do this blog, but Kurokuma are among a small handful of bands that come along now and again who exist within a scene and take it in completely new and fresh directions, often when bands add different elements to their sound it can get messy and occasionally just does not work however these guys who are, in places as stark and heavy as anything you care to mention can utilize elements like darbuka and psychedelic lead breaks along with riffs  and structures that are unusual yet still heavy and get your head nodding!! This to me is the sound of a unit who play well and play well together to create a sound that is unlike anything else on the heavy scene right now it's as twisted as it is groovy it feels oppressive and yet elates and this is something that is not come by without hard work and investment in your sound To take you on such a mad journey through a mere 3 tracks says to me these guys have barely yet reaching their full potential Odin help me and all of you when they go in to the studio for a full length! I for one cannot wait!

Buy The Cassette or Download at bandcamp

Here :

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Also Kurokama are about to do their first tour of the UK with the mighty Under (Read about Under HERE) I'll be at the Liverpool show I'd advise you clear your diary and get your ass out to see these guys or curse yourself later...

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