posted on 7/2003 By:
It seems Konkhra has an ever-changing lineup. At one point, they had Chris Kontos (ex Machine Head), and even Per Jensen (the Haunted, unless there's another Per M. Jensen whom I don't know about). Now they have returned to their original drummer, Johnny Nielsen, and with him comes a new album, "Reality Check". For those of you unfamiliar with Konkhra, they have a sort of death metal thrash sound, like the later works of Testament and Pantera. This comparison is quite the one to live up to, so we shall see if they deliver it in the form of "Reality Check". The first thing you will notice is the power of the guitar tone. Every chord hits like a freight train, and most every song has a great beat to further pummel you. There are basically two types of guitar on "Reality Check", the more solo-oriented and the ultra powerful chugga-chugga riffs. I think it's safe to say that the vocalist is like a hybrid Chuck Billy and Phil Anselmo, more to the Anselmo end. Couple the power of those two vocalists with some fiercely heavy guitars, and you have yourself quite the impressive sound. The bass is thick and chunky, which is good. The only problem is that the production is a little to heavy in the low end, it feels very bottom-heavy. The bass and bass drums are somewhat overpowering, so along with the ever-present crash of cymbals nearly covers up the higher-end of the guitar riffs. When it's the heavier, more methodical powerful riffs, it sounds great, but the higher end riffs are somewhat drowned out. The ultra high-end solos are nice and clear because there is some kickass musicianship there. It has the percussive, warp speed sound of a Jag Panzer solo, but in this case it's very thrashy instead of power metally. As far as songwriting goes, I can't seem to find a bad song. Of course there's the generic critic's gripe about how every song sounds similar, but in this case that's a good thing, for they have a nice sound. There's nothing ultra-complex, but it's good. Every track is ultra high-energy (except for the two instrumental tracks, which remind me of Metallica's Fade To Black, which is fine by me), there is a lot of hatred and murderous rage amongst the members of Konkhra, you can be sure of that. The album ends with a nice, emotional instrumental to take you slowly to your impending doom, I found it a rather classy way to finish off this monster, especially after a heavy, balls-out track like "Lowlife". It's pretty nice to hear a non-Swedish-wannabe thrash band, these guys definitely have their own sound. It's heavy, death metally, and uniquely American sounding even though they're from Denmark. This is as American it gets without actually BEING American. If you're a fan of the likes of Overkill, Pantera, Testament, Slayer, etc. then you'll dig Konkhra. Heavy as hell and talented to boot, I recommend it. Wrathchild's Choice Cuts: Fear of God: Sweet solo in the middle of this one, very classic thrash/death Grapes of Wrath: A great headbanger with a catchy riff
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