Tech-Death Tuesday: KAIROS Let The Prog Flow Freely On Their Ambitious New Album, Simulgression
Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual reminder that if you're looking for more sick music, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Kairos is a Charlotte, North Carolina based group who formed in 2012 and have released three musical efforts since 2015 which is a damn impressive run. Their latest, a debut full-length called Simulgression was released in May and is somewhat of a throwback to days of yore when mathcore was just beginning to become combined with technical death metal in the early 2000’s as pioneered by bands like Into The Moat, Ion Dissonance, and The Red Chord initially. Even more so then harkening back to just that era, the bands extended musical palette reminds me quite hyper specifically of Journal and their absolutely bonkers brand of prog-centric mathcore fused with tech-death as heard on 2010's sprawling 80-minute masterpiece, Unlorja. If you’re a fan of that album, this one scratches a similar unorthodox itch by expertly cross-pollinating between the realms of prog metal, chaotic mathcore, and intense technical death metal. On a related note, the first new Journal album in eight years will see release in July and you can check out an early single here.
So in essence, Simulgression splits its time between off-kilter mathcore and thunderous grooves, frenzied and cataclysmic tech-death, and then filters it all through a strong progressive metal element that also extends into the eclectic and incredibly dense songwriting style at play here. The end result is chaotic and always varied beyond belief, and that’s a big compliment as the music never comes off as cookie cutter or generic at all. While I don’t think the occasional clean sung parts that pop up sparingly really enhance the music much in most cases, they’re not so poorly delivered as to be a turnoff in most instances. On some occasions, they really shine and align with what’s going musically in a way I can get behind like on the smooth prog glide of “Weightless in the Wake of the Divine” where the singing swirls sublimely inside light airy passages prior to the return of fierce death growls and death metal heft to the song.
The group labels their music as “Progressive Metal/Tech Death” and I think that really nails the unique hybridized sound the group has built up. Explaining themselves that way is more accurate than simply describing them as another prog-death centered tech-death group, as they eschew that framework far too often to fit that description. Likewise, the group of artists the group lists as ones they “like” in their Facebook information page covers a lot of what they’re up to musically which includes Dream Theater, Scar Symmetry, Between The Buried And Me, Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Born of Osiris, Animals As Leaders, and Meshuggah.
All in all, Simulgression is a fascinating release from an up-and-coming group who have taken their sound to a higher place here when compared to the prior 2016 EP, Fission Spectrum which didn't blow me away as much as this does To be fair, I probably need to go back to listen to that one more in-depth now that I’m more hooked on the group. It's hard for me to pick out favorite songs with this album as it's very much an album experience focused work of adventurous music, centered around a delicately crafted flow to how it unfolds from start to finish. If you’re tired of tech-death by numbers, Simulgression may very well win you over, especially if you are also a fan of mathcore and progressive metal with a theatrical flair. You can purchase Kairos – Simulgression through Bandcamp if you’re digging it upon hitting play below. Be sure to follow the group over on the Kairos Facebook Page as well.