KarlMarxThere are two things that made me plump for this album; firstly the band name which is plain weird and secondly it is an instrumental album which is a sub-genre I have immersed myself into and has given me some excellent musical moments that have been emotive, passionate and deeply transfixing and this Italian band is likely to feature very high on my end of year lists though I do produce a top 365 (it’ll be 366 for this year I guess) so read into that what you will.

This is the bands second release and in stark contrast to many instrumental acts this album just clocks over the 30 minute mark with eight tunes that begins with the title track. The retro rock pyramid in recent years has seen bands clamouring for a foothold at the base of the pyramid in a genre that seems to be dispelling bands off the walls of said pyramid on a weekly basis it seems as some are either clones of bands already established or just plain awful. However some acts like KMWAB have manufactured a strong foothold for themselves by offering an infectious take on the scene that allows their instrumentation to speak for itself. The title track starts the album off and immediately you are thrust into a kaleidoscopic array of musicality that is underpinned by a deep dense and grunge like bass performance. There is a backing of keyboards too that produce an atmospheric opulence with sporadic trippy workouts being added too. The guitar work languishes within the tune almost lazily as the nuances of the track are sculpted via their subtly placed pieces.

The quirky keyboard and bass start to “Es” with a sort of sampled spoken voice is very 70s and is partially like Amorphis too minus the heaviness of the guitar work as the density is produced by the bass. Leading into “Grey” the disturbing and almost sinister keyboard melody is linked to a bass riff that reminds me of old Sabbath but also uniquely like Cardinals Folly (who if you’ve not heard you definitely should if you like sombre desolate rock/metal). The tune expands into behemothic piece which is implosive due to its black hole like density but equally explosive with the trance like synth that juts into the tune.

The much faster “Superego” has some similarities to The Vintage Caravan, high energy rock with a dash of psychedelic aura made creepier by a sampled monologue of Charles Manson. “Negentropy” is a fuzzed out space rocker with rumbling bass riffs toppling over the tripped out synth work making for an opaque atmosphere that butts violently against the more rocked out guise of “Ego”. Again we get a sinister spoken monologue as the tune hits the gas noticeably with the drums taking centre stage along with the keyboard work. Closing this is “Nord” with its massive synth work that renders the song with layers of distortion and a twisted ethos that leads eventually to a pulsing bass riff and steady rock beat. The synths gradually reintroduce themselves like a disturbed friend, never knowing what he or she is likely to do next.

This is a great album, packed with experimentation and saturated in tremendous musicality that is bold, ambitious and completely captivating.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)