posted on 6/2002 By:
In what seems to be a quickly growing market and "profession" that is death metal, in order to be realized or recognized, it is essential that you bring something new and/or fresh to the table. Like every living creature on the planet, metal continues to evolve, but only as a result of bands who have stepped forward into previously uncharted and unexplored territory. Sure, there will be others that mimic the original pioneer's style & sound, and may sound just as good, but the fact remains that bands who originally had the balls to go where none have gone before, and the skills to master that style, are the ones that will be considered "milestones" in metal history. Unfortunately, with us being the metal-worshipping consumers that we are, we tend to feed our needs for fresh & stimulating metal by giving in to media generated hype or "critical acclaim" that seems to find it's way to our computer screens, in our metal magazines, or simply by word of mouth. And what you read compared to what you actually hear when you get the music can be very far apart…… Before I had even heard anything from Kaamos, I had seen their name plastered on numerous message/discussion boards, with claims of being "brutal", "progressive", and even one claiming that they were "re-defining" the Sweden sound. I don't know about you, but usually, when I hear or see "Sweden" and "metal" in the same sentence, I think melodic or thrash w/ clean vocals. With the few exceptions that come to mind (Deranged, Hypocrisy, a few others), I am usually right. So, before hearing any material from Kaamos, I had the term "re-defining" in my head, and to tell you the truth, I shouldn't have expected anything, because maybe then I would be a little more impressed w/ this album. Kaamos play a brand of metal that has been done many times before by many different bands throughout metal history, with many of those bands already defunct. Upon 1st listen, I hear a rather raw, yet good production. It has a big sound, but it's just not the tightest or the most honed that I've heard. I hear a bit of Napalm Death, a lot of Entombed, and I even hear some Carcass (during their "bluesy phase"), but I am not hearing much Kaamos. I mean there is nothing here that I can honestly say belongs to Kaamos and only Kaamos. There's nothing fantastic about any of the elements that make up this album. The drum fills are everywhere and you can spot them coming a mile away. The guitars are not tuned nearly as low as I was expecting them to be. That obviously does not justify giving this album bad marks, but if you're gonna play "re-defining" death metal, you should at least be tuned a tad bit lower than your average punk-rock band. The chords are a bit sloppy sounding and there's almost no variation from riff to riff. I just don't sense much feeling put into these songs. The majority are relatively fast, but are constructed of rather boring and monotonous guitar riffs and predictable blast beats. Track 5, "The Doom of Man", does start out w/ an interesting chant, and flows nicely into the slow, chugging, gloomy atmosphere of the song, and if I had to pick a favorite off here, it would be that track. But it's a slow song, and that should really tell you something about a band that was pegged as "brutal" death metal by one or two sources. It should say that there's nothing here that's going to keep a metal head's attention for very long. There are just too many better bands out there actually pushing their music to unheard realms, whether it be this style or something completely different……. If I want to hear good death metal, I'll listen to Cannibal Corpse or some older Deicide. If I want to hear good Swedish death metal, I'll listen to Hypocrisy or Deranged. If I want to hear melodic Swedish metal, I'll have somebody kick my ass all over the room until my senses have returned to me……..In a "profession" where only the strong survive, it is my guess that Kaamos will have a rather short life span.
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