Citing influences in Deftones, Reuben and Refused to name but three are Leeds quartet Pete Freeth (Guitar/Main Vocals), Joe Phillips (Bass/Vocals), Michael Bracewell (Guitars) and Tom Vickery (Drums). Better known as KVX, they have been making Post-Hardcore tinged Alternative Metal sounds since January 2016, under the moniker Kovax. “Agenda Reveal” marks the bands first release under the new name and marks something of a style shift. While Kovax had signature Nu-Metal inspired riffage, under the name KVX, they have added some more complex and intricate Math Rock or Progressive Metal inspired sections. Something of a concept release, these four tracks lyrically reflect the thoughts and feelings of vocalist Pete Freeth as he learns to process and cope with the experience of a family member becoming terminally ill.
It’s evident from the very start that working with Kane Whitelam, who handled the recording, mixing and mastering of “Agenda Reveal” has paid of in style. The ruckus of “Home” rises and falls from a menacing aggressive main riff with technical nuance, while the broken interrupted thought process lyrics tell a story that lingers in the mind after those riffs have gone. It’s a dark tale with a raw integrity to it that makes it addictive and that continues into the schizophrenic “Gurney” which is reminiscent of bands like Therapy? with big stompy riffs and sing-a-long angst filled lyrics. The difference is the change ups which have that Math Rock edge in the turn around. Stepping away from the theme of the opening pair and slipping into your classic anti-slavery, “you can’t fire me because I quit” attitude riff fest in the form of “Sweatbox“, it becomes clear that KVX are mastering the art of the poly rhythm and how to manipulate it to fine effect. Freeth has a clear love of the eclectic when it comes to his lyrical style and with “Nest“, there maybe a hidden meaning underneath the tourettes like rants that on the surface aren’t about anything in particular – but – sound great. Especially in the context of the band smashing out some solid riffs with some neat tempo shifts. A mid song melodic segment has a dream like quality before that pedal to the metal closing that brings it home [7/10]
“Agenda Reveal” by KVX will be released on 17th April and available for pre-order over at bandcamp.