One from the Big Pile o’ Reviews now, as I take a delve into the industrial/extreme/groove world of Russia/Austria’s KaaK. The band are based in Austria, but most members emigrated from Russia hence their ability to imbibe staggering quantities of vodka (probably).
Litanies of Pain is a 5-track EP with some extra tracks (a cover and some remixes) thrown in to pad it out to ten tracks. For my money, the five originals are the best material. The cover’s a little too techno and the remixes… well, let’s just say I’m a huge fan of Fear Factory and I still only ever listened to Remanufacture once before chucking it to the back of the CD cupboard. Twenty years ago.
KaaK make significant use of samples and other “dance/techno” techniques and these merge pretty well with the extreme metal trappings of their main sound. I’d say it’s far more of a crossover than many may expect, and not “industrial” in the Fear Factory/Ministry sense. In a way, they’ve taken both the music and the sample side of things to extremes.
The music has a definite progressive or experimental theme, with multiple layers and frequent time-changes with rhythms often at odds with one another. It’s chaotic and most of the time it works. However, sometimes it just doesn’t – there’s too much going on for this mainstream mind and it just sounds like two songs being grafted onto one another without care for making good work of the stitches.
The title track would sound very much like latter-day Carcass (especially the vocal style) without the keys/samples, and there are flurries of brilliance within “Reason For Existence” which is the heaviest and most mainstream metal song of the half dozen.
Litanies of Pain has a lot going for it in terms of the metal side of the equation. I just can’t get my head around the more techno parts and disjointed nature of the songs overall. I feel like that’s a shame as it means I only really enjoyed about half of each song!
There’s definitely a market for this kind of thing, though. Fans of the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan may want to give it a shot – it’s like they married Emperor then had an affair with Trent Reznor and the child was a mutant offspring of the three.