Review: “Societal Sects” by Kinkshamer

NSFW band Kinkshamer make Progressive Metalcore around themes and concepts designed to put you, the listener outside of your comfort zone. Hailing from Pomona in Los Angeles County, California and currently comprising of duo vocalist Riley Rowe (who you may know as a Metal Injection writer and Famined Records PR dude – Famined Records being the home of Harmed) and multi instrumentalist Lucas Fisher (guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, etc) they have put together their debut EP in order to not only get the mosh pit going but also to get you thinking. You’ve heard concept records before, right? Space, Time, Aliens. Drugs? Not this one…
Accompanied by a haunting music box style synth melody “Foreplay” uses a sample of an American talk show about sexual addition to bring a cheesy horror film style introduction to “Societal Sects”. First track proper “Behind Closed Doors Between Beauty and the Beast” has a Deathcore chug to it with a nice Downtempo styling slow down in the bridge. The lyrics are around the topic of beastiality, thematically something more in tune with far heavier bands in the Deathgrind genre of perhaps Cannibal Corpse, though musically it’s far more in tune with the likes of Spite or Xehanort but perhaps more primitive. In a good way. After all, we’re talking about basic human function here, right? The lyrics are broken up by an intriguing sample loop and unapologetic sample look with the clever use of a dog bark where you might have a gang vocal in Hardcore tune. “A Most Vulgar Display” has some tight lead work in the introduction work while Riley Rowe’s cut glass gargling vocals bring to mind Daniel Weyandt of Zao in their brutal delivery. That riffage then builds into the more melodic bridge before diving into the Deathcore grooves of the opening track. If you hadn’t guessed from the title, the song is about Exhibitionism and the final verse plays out like a movie scene from a cheap porno.

“Disregarding the Generational Gap” opens up with some full throttle blast beats, driven Metalcore riffage and a guttural roar from frontman Riley Rowe. The bounce of staccato riffs with lead flourishes builds into a surprisingly bright chorus musically that is in stark contrast to the vocals which take on a harsh whispered quality. As with all the tracks on “Societal Sects” the samples give the track a dark humoured edge that aren’t laugh out loud funny but instead have that “what am I listening to” vibe that gets very close to a fine line in taste but never quite manages to go all the way (pun intended). It’s an in depth (how can you stop the innuendoes, you can’t, just roll with it) look at going at it with older women and while it takes itself seriously enough to not be a gimmick, it’s funny enough to make you think, “damn, this stuff goes on” which it does. There isn’t a point in the EP where the lyrics or samples are cringe worthy, which was the concern before starting to listen to it. There was also the question of replay ability and that’s something it achieves in the same way what Dr Acula do by making the humour part of the sound but also crucially backing it up by enough solid musicianship that it isn’t reliant on it. In that way, unlike a number of shock bands, it’s not a one trick
pony that gets old after a couple of spins. It works simply because its fun.

The final track “Climax, Control, Closure” is by far the longest on the EP, clocking in at just over 6 minutes. After a epic introduction the band take on a Winds of Plague style Symphonic Deathcore sound that is far more complex than the previous offerings. There are some brighter guitar elements in the bridge with a layered guitar approach that works really well. There are some interesting plays on the melody in the buzz saw guitars of the back end of the track and it lends itself well to the direction that the band might be going in musically with their next release. Lyrically it takes on the subject matter of Edging and contains a sample loop in an almost AI female voice. As a collection of songs “Societal Sects” is an interesting listen, it flows from a more primitive and raw DIY sound to a more complex and polished one as the EP plays through which seems to be the intention. There seems to be a deliberate intention to combine the more raw lyrics with the more straight up and chunkier riffage, which works really well. Something to mosh to and something to think about was that the band said. That’s exactly what they’ve achieved [8/10].
Track listing
1. Foreplay
2. Behind Closed Doors Between Beauty and the Beast
3. A Most Vulgar Display
4. Disregarding the Generational Gap
5. Climax, Control, Closure
“Societal Sects” by Kinkshamer is out 22nd February

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