Review: “Alone” by Kaali

They say expect the unexpected, don’t be surprised by an unusual event because frankly anything could happen and probably will. So when reading the bio of Kaali, a Blackened Hardcore outfit from Chi Minh City, Vietnam we shouldn’t be surprised that the band is comprised of a group of expats. But even so, it seems like an eyebrow raising oddity and quirk of the way the World works in the present time that this could even be a thing. The band comprises Rich Peto (Guitar), Sergey Bochenkov (Drums), Cerrin Hendricks (Bass) and Viktor Nagradic (Vocals) who formed the outfit in August 2020 and tapped up Serbian Producer and multi instrumentalist Sava Tomic (Face of the Moment, Mind Prison) to mix and master their debut EP “Alone” which is coupled with artwork from Xuan Quyen…

…and while the band self describe as a Blackened Hardcore act, there is more to their debut than meets the eye in that regard. An arty electronic infused introduction brings “Child Of War” to life and remains lurking in the background throughout while the band aren’t afraid to cross genre boundaries and bring in influences from Black and Death Metal for a solid opening salvo. Hats off to Sava Tomic because he’s taken what the band have given him and made it sound huge, dark and crushing in the mix. It should come as no surprise that the language of choice for the lyrics and vocals is English and Nagradic brings a dry, raspy quality to those with plenty of bark and bite. “Paper God” brings the thunderous percussion and is a raging juggernaut that surprises with fleeting moments of orchestration in the mix that serve to bejewel the track but would probably be the last thing you’d expect here as is the eerie spoken word part but those small risks pay off handsomely. Similarly the clean vocals of the first verse of “Domain” are brave but fit perfectly and when they are used to back the savage uncleans during which Nagradic finds new hitherto unheard lows, they’re incredible before a neck snapping finale that is nothing short of immense. Following the heaviest track on the EP was always going to be a challenge but “Reborn” changes things up with some Groove Metal influences and the click-y bass drives from Hendricks add another dimension to a cut that has that lyrically has that grit and integrity with a clenched fist of survival. The title track finishes the EP with an eerie haunting and dark vibe with an extended programmed section that lulls you into the sense that the band are going to bring it back for another chorus but it doesn’t happen and while the lyrics are a little bit clichéd it’s still a solid ending to an otherwise bullet proof debut [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Child of War
  2. Paper God
  3. Domain
  4. Reborn
  5. Alone

Alone” by Kaali is out 19th November 2021


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *