Kapala (a Sanskrit word meaning skull I gather) are from India. Well this lot are, as I discovered two other bands sharing this name. The idea of fans of either of those other two bands accidentally downloading this amuses the fuck out of me, particularly the Hawaiian pop band.
This is a first release, twenty minute EP comprising four tracks with an intro and outro. It’s a fucking racket. How much? Well there comes a time with every reviewer where you have the fear you’ve stepped into Emperor’s New Clothes territory, or modern art critic worse still. You see I don’t even know if this is what they want to sound like.
Reasoning: This is so lo-fi there is absolutely no production at all. None. White noise distortion buries the guitar for the most part, vocals are a distorted gurgle and growl and the drums, which sound like they had one mic somewhere in the next basement, clatter over the top through sheer force of will. Honestly this makes Impiety sound like Dimmu Borgir and Live In Leipzig sound like Unleashed In The East. But, and here’s the big “am I insane?” but, it ends up kind of compelling. Hypnotic in its utter bestial savagery. This is black metal tipped way over into black noise, Gnaw Their Tongues levels of utter chaos and Wold-like indistinction. On the one hand you have the drumming actually binding this into some kind of shape and, when the distortion allows, the riffs actually make a bestial sense. Oh and they seem remarkably together as far as I can tell. They stop and start like a band. On the other hand you have the appalling drum sound, no mix at all and the inexplicable thirty second gap in the end of Kapalik Hellstrike. Numerous listens and I still don’t know.
Ok, it comes down to this. If you like Gnaw Their Tongues and Wold, or just want to push your black metal tastes way down into nuclear savagery and barbaric, no-fi chaos then this is for you. If you want some semblance of musical structure then best pass. Like the plague.
Score? Fuck knows…
(Gizmo 7.5/10 because it really has something. 1/10 if you think I’m wrong.
Best just listen yourself