Review: “Restos” by Karnak Seti

Formed more than two decades ago, the ever evolving project Karnak Seti hail from Madeira Island in Portugal and have given us three demos, four studio albums and now two EPs which combine Melodic Thrash with Death Metal. Bassist Claudio Aguiar has been there since the beginning in 2001, guitarist António Jesus joining in 2003 and playing on their first release “Cosmic Fate“. In those days the band used lyrical themes of Extra Terrestrial Life but now are mainly focused on the human condition, introspection and (in)sanity…

Opening with a cut soaked in dark rhythms that are reminiscent of the kind of driving material that Prong or Ministry have put out in the past, “I Breathe the End” has a timeless quality to its jagged edges. Luís Freitas drum sound has that Industrial Metal edge while not going as far as it could, the short bursts of synth embellishment adding to the assault on the senses but by no means overpowering. A it’s heart however is a performance from vocalist Luís Erre, who spills his guts like he’s just downed a vile of poison and is foaming at the mouth, the battery acid nausea of some off kilter moments of instrumental in each bridge giving it something unsettling. A 90’s inspired Thrash riff from António Jesus brings title track “Restos” to life, the bass heavy mix showcasing Cláudio Aguiar’s capabilities. Stripped back and neck snappable, this is one of those cuts that proves that things don’t necessarily need to be complex to be a good time, the pounding rhythms and powerful riffs inflicting plenty of damage. There is also a solo on this one which is tastefully understated, avoiding the temptation to race away with something virtuoso. Keeping the adrenaline pumping and rhythms tight, “In Loom” brings back the industrial tinges of the open cut while keeping things strictly of dark atmosphere. Another powerhouse cut, it finds the band painting in light and shade rhythmically, the extended instrumental passage before the final chorus impressing greatly. Sounding like a “Demanufacture” era Fear Factory demo instrumentally “Down Beneath” is one which has instant appeal in familiarity, the ethnically tinged moment before the final third giving it that late 90’s sound of Soulfly. A show of strength, it adds a depth to the earlier cuts while hammering home the qualities of the bands current line up; who needs to teach an old dog new tricks when the old ones are this good? [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. I Breathe the End
  2. Restos
  3. In Loom
  4. Down Beneath

Restos” by Karnak Seti is out 12th January 2024 and should be available over at bandcamp

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