Stranded By Existence
posted on 11/2008 By:
Last time that I checked, Funchal, Portugal wasn't exactly a hotbed for cutting edge melodic death metal. And Karnak Seti won't change anyone's mind with this flawed old-schoolish pseudo-technical take on the Gothenburg sound. But what you do have to keep in mind when listening to Stranded By Existence is that many of your favorite bands used to sound shitty too. There was something there soaking in the piss-poor production that kept you in the waiting, and such is the case here.
There are moments inside of these seven songs that shed some light on what KS could very well be if they do a complete one-eighty in terms of how to approach recording the next time around, and possibly pull a ninety in the songwriting department. Thank god for those of us that believe in second impressions. And thank an even darker god for those of us that noticed that they've already been around for seven years without learning their lesson, and still want to see them come to fruition. Tracks like "Leaders Of Emptiness" and "Clear" are the obvious gravitational pulls when wanting to chuck this disc high up into the sky with no hope for return. There are some progressive leanings on "Leaders..." that'll tug on your ear. The riffage in particular does a nice switch-up from the strangling palm-muted chunk, to a more forgiving and easy-breathing melodic twin-guitar attack, yet with nothing perfectly sewn; frayed ends abound. The lasting impressions however, were left with "Clear". More specifically, at four minutes and five seconds into said track, where the drummer shines a light straight on through the surrounding fog of inaudible kick-drums and paper-thin snare hits. At this bookmarked moment, there is a jazzy little groove-laden drum and bass side-trip taken, for all of fifteen seconds, that obliterates alot of my own preconceived notions of their overall skill level and direction compositionally. But it was only fifteen seconds.
Some things are still horribly true and cannot be whisked away by stacking up pity points. The physical sound of this album is for shit, and after seven years of composing I would have expected more character development. Karnak Seti, please tighten the reigns! Please. I don't want it to take another seven years in order to see a Portuguese force happen.
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