22 Oct 2021 - Thorsten
Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore | Majestic Mountain Records | Release date: 08 Oct 2021
There is a very productive and highly efficient small scene brewing in Oslo. The central figures are the masterminds behind several mighty interesting bands: Hymn, Sâver and KITE. The latter have recently released their third full-length named Currents and of course one should check it out if Post-Metal is also just slightly interesting.
Interesting about the scene in Norway’s capitol is the fact that all three aforementioned bands (there are a few others as well) have a very distinctly different kind of sound. Hymn is more psychedelic, while Saver plays Proto-Post-Metal with a lot of progressive elements. KITE on the other hand is riding the thin blood-red line between Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore and Noise. That alchemy-potion is not only brewed for a long time but it is boiling to exploding point.
The new full-length Currents shows the band at its best: Building songs slowly with a lot of patience – compare the way the intro ”Idle Lights” very, very gently keeps on building with the guitar line being pushed more and more to the front and become louder and louder, especially with the second one, even fuzzier one joining in and the different layers seemingly fighting each other for control of the song which is never won by either. The only winner is the second track ”Turbulence” which comes out of that struggle as the last tune standing with its bass line leading the way into the new track, the first one with vocals.
”Murdress”, the third chapter, then clearly shows the songs’ roots in Hardcore for the first time as it follows a mighty, hardcore tour de force where heaviness and speed are cleverly combined with some poignant, precise staccato-riff bordering on Math- and Noise-Rock. However, the track is never pure and simple Hardcore but the slowly descending outro shows the Post-Metal side of KITE as well.
One more thing that should be said about the record is the sound which has been set into strong stone and color by the band itself with the help of Fredrik Ryberg, mastering having been done at Jeløy Sound. The sound is nice detailed but not overpowering, it lights the most important parts but is also able to simply neglect those unimportant and never falls for the volume trap. That would also not be a good idea with the vocals always nicely riding the sharp edge between Hardcore despair and Blackened Screams of the lost soul; both Ronnie and Ole are doing an amazing job with the vocals, that is for sure. One comparison that clearly comes to mind is LLNN but KITE are not focused on sheer heaviness like the Danish protagonists are, their sound and style is a bit more differentiated.
The last song that definitely needs to be mentioned is the longest track on the record, ”Infernal Trails” which is basically the record in miniature scale. A well-placed drum intro accompanied by a few guitar parts takes its time to develop a certain pull on the listener, completely drawing you in, not noticing that the guitar parts become denser and more prominent. The track slowly ascends to new heights with lots of Doomy goodness combined with some shrill, noisy guitar whirls. All in all a perfect example of what this band is capable of. When the last part starts at roughly 6:40 minutes, we hear a “funky” near Fugazi-like bassline leading us into temptation to ask for the sanity of those who wrote this hydra of a song, which always seems to rear just another head one hadn’t seen before.
The record is a perfect testament to a band refining their sound, also in opposite to the other bands around them, giving the audience a really ambitious but also really well-executed record that should not be missing in one’s collection if those razor’s edge-rides are your thing and you don’t need clearly cut-out differences between the genres as this band is much more than just Post-Metal or Post-Hardcore. It’s even more than both. It’s KITE and as a kite does, it flies high across the sky of modern metal.