KYOTY – Isolation

Isolation Album Cover Art

KYOTY – Isolation
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/02/22
Running Time: 01:10:00
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
8/10

I took a punt on this one. It wasn’t something that stood out as hip or fashionable to review. I knew nothing about the band or their music. So, a short history lesson for me is important. KYOTY play atmospheric Sludge and Post-Rock. They are based in New Hampshire and formed in 2009. Abbreviated from Keep Your Opinions To Yourself, the band are regarded as cryptic and secretive. Consisting of two members, guitarist Nick Filth and bassist Nathanial Parker Raymond, they released an album entitled “Undiscovered Country of Old Death and Strange Years in the Frightful Past” in 2012 with drummer Rob Brown. The album was remastered and rereleased as “Remanufactured Realm of Ancient Annihilation” in 2017. Their discography lists a live recording, split releases and a number of singles. Since Brown departed in 2020, KYOTY has utilised selected drummers to enhance their sound. 

This leads us neatly to “Isolation”, their latest release and one which certainly impressed on first listen. 70 minutes of deep, dark sonic soundscapes varying in length from four to 12 minutes and all weaving musical threads that envelope the listener. It isn’t warm, but at the same time it doesn’t chill the bones; more a variation of sounds that enable the listener to become immersed in the waves of sound that the band generate. Huge swathes and heavy passages are interspersed with lighter, almost ethereal moments that capture emotions and feelings on a tide of musical magic. 

Written during the pandemic, the music captures the divide of quarantine. Shared electronically throughout the past two years, music was completed and finalised before being released in single instalments. For fans of the band, tracks including the opening ‘Quarantine’ and ‘Ventilate’ have already been available via streaming sites and they provide the first 15 minutes of the release. The music is crushing, thick riffs and crushingly heavy passages dominate, but there is time to breath and catch one’s breath. 

Having stated their intention to release a song each Friday, I was unsure how much new music apart from the bonus track ‘A Fog, A Future Like Place Imagined’ would be on this release, but what is evident from further listens is how the album flows when it is played in full.  There’s the dark, angular challenge of ‘Holter’ and the gargantuan delivery of the 12 minute ‘Faith’ which opens gently, before expanding into a cinematic soundscape which detours from place to place with some style. 

Mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios and with artwork designed by the band, ‘Isolation’ is another album in a long list this year that demand time and investment. I need to spend longer with it to give it full credit. Yet, even on the first few listens, it is a captivating release that is likely to grow into a firm favourite, time allowing. 

Quarantine’ Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Quarantine
02. Ventilate
03. Onus
04. Holter
05. Languish
06. Rift
07. Faith
08. Respite
09. Memory
10. A Fog, A Future Like Place Imagined

LINE-UP:
Nick Filth – Guitars
Nathanial Parker Raymond – Bass

LINKS:

KYOTY Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Daxma – Unmarked Boxes

Unmarked Boxes Album Cover Art

Daxma – Unmarked Boxes
Blues Funeral Recordings & Majestic Mountain Records
Release Date: 19.11.21
Running Time: 57:21 
Review by Rick Eaglestone
7/10

Directly inspired by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi’s poem, Oakland’s Daxma return with their new album “Unmarked Boxes”, which explores difficult personal topics such as grief, depression, longing, and the process of overcoming.

Opening track ‘The Clouds Parted’ woefully weaves into elements of 90’s style My Dying Bride – it’s thirteen and a half minutes of bleak yet undeniably beautiful soundscapes, with varying directional changes. I particularly love the slow build up into the heavier parts and back again. When tracks are done this well you really do not notice the length of them. This is followed by the shorter instrumental ‘And the Earth Swallowed Our Shadows’.

My highlight track ‘Hiraeth’ is up next, and yet again it is another thirteen-and-a-half-minute track. It’s heavier than the opener, and the guitar parts blend fantastically well. I also love the dual vocal parts. This, much like the previous tracks, is followed by another instrumental track ‘Saudade’.

Given the subject matter ‘Anything You Lose’ is emotionally charged in the right places, the heavier parts are subtle, and when the dual vocals take hold it really encapsulates the overall mood and feel of the album.

Lastly ‘Comes Back in Another Form’ has a minimalistic vocal presence which is only really highlighted in the middle of the track, as between those parts, building drum patterns and bleak soundscapes take over.

Daxma comment, “As a band, we have been working on this material for some time, only recently feeling like we’ve undergone the musical and spiritual growth necessary to achieve our vision and put this album out into the world.”

Overall, the orchestration, guitar tones, and melodies are wonderful, for me I would have liked to have more of the above, with the dual vocal, and slightly fewer instrumental pieces.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Clouds Parted
02. And the Earth Swallowed our Shadows
03. Hiraeth
04. Saudade
05. Anything You Loose
06. Comes Back in Another Form

LINE-UP:
Isaac R. – Guitars, Vocals, Bass
Jessica T. – Violin, Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Forrest H. – Guitar, Bass
Thomas I. – Drums

LINKS:

Daxma Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.





healthyliving – until/below EP

until-below Single-EP Cover

healthyliving – until/below EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 07:34
Review by Steven Hooke
8/10

It’s staggering how many post-rock, shoegaze, gloom-adjacent bands have broken through over the past few years. Maybe it’s got something to do with economic and near-societal collapse, the waves of finding out our childhood heroes are nonces and wrong uns, a globally-mishandled pandemic, or a sharp decline in human compassion in lieu of greed and selfishness. But who knows? I just review music on the internet.

Today’s offering of void-core comes in the form of cross-Europe trio healthyliving with their debut release consisting of two songs ‘until’ and ‘below’. The band consists of Madrid-born singer Amaya López-C, who also operates an experimental folk/jazz project called Maud The Moth, plucker of strings Scott McLean from Scotland who also performs with post-rock-turned-drone metal act Falloch and German stoner rock outfit Lasse Reinstroem, and Stefan Pötzsch, a German session drummer who has also worked with Lasse Reinstroem, as well as Luc Stargazer and Boozoo Bajou. The band have offered a little taste of their musical output as they work towards their debut album, currently expected sometime in 2022.

‘until’ feels like the stronger of the two tracks, a deep, bass-heavy shoegaze stomper with tinges of psychedelia and stoner rock. López-C’s voice floats over its depressing surroundings in a similar vibe to Oathbreaker’s Caro Tanghe during the quiet moments of ‘Needles In Your Skin’ and ‘Stay Here/Accroche-Moi’, creating an ethereal hold on the listener, with subtle discordancy broken up by proper gurn-face choruses.

‘below’ is a more subdued track, a gentle, rolling guitar line once again swimming along the current of those hypnotising vocals. This almost, idyllic setting created in the first half of the song makes the droning guitars of the second half feel all the more terrifying. A sudden progression of musical anxiety as a muddy guitar sound evolves into softly-backed vocals in a style similar to Myrkur’s folk outings, estranged harmonics, and a cold, imposing drum beat.

healthyliving are certainly worth your attention. Shoegaze that knows how to be heavy without treading on drone and doom’s toes, and tell a bigger story with a minimalist output. Stefan and Scott deserve full credit for such, with McLean worthy of another mention owing to his production handling of Amaya’s vocals. A soft and delicate delivery is turned into anguish and uncertainty, which could prove to have some amazing potential. BBC Introducing and Roadburn certainly seem to think so.

‘until’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. until
02. below

LINE-UP:
Amaya López-C – Vocals
Scott McLean – Guitars, Bass
Stefan Pötzsch – Drums

LINKS:

healthyliving Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with IKITAN

Ikitan Logo

EMQ’s with IKITAN

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Genoa, Italy based Heavy Post-Rock trio, Ikitan. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi folks, we’re the IKITAN, an instrumental trio from Genoa (Italy), and we play a genre that can be defined as heavy post-rock.

The band was born in September 2019. We incorporate a lot of different influences in our music and we love to jam, that’s how our music sees the light.

IKITAN is Luca Nash Nasciuti (guitars), Frik Et (bass) and Enrico Meloni (drums and cowbell).

Luca and Frik Et have been friends for over 15 years. They met Enrico, who was looking for a new band, thanks to an adv on a local Facebook group for musicians. This happened at the end of September 2019.

Fun fact: we all played at a local venue in Genoa in 2010 on the same night but of course in two different bands! Luca and Frik Et were in the same band already back then. Enrico still has the cd their band was selling on that night.

How did you come up with your band name?

Luca came across “IKITAN” by randomly surfing on the Internet, and he found it, from an uncertified source, as “The God of the sound coming from the stones”. He just fell in love with that name and it has been an inspiration for a while.

As we put together the trio, “IKITAN” sounded just perfect for the band.

The fact that it is from an uncertified source, and we then found out once and for all that this meaning of IKITAN doesn’t exist, well it doesn’t really matter anymore. IKITAN is the God of the sound of the stones, period.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We all live in Genoa, one of the largest cities in Italy, located on the North-West coast, and a major European harbour. Luca and Frik Et are from Genoa itself, and Enrico is from Sardinia.

Genoa has been and still is one of the Italian capitals of prog music, bands who were born in the 70’s such as New Trolls, Nuova Idea, Delirium, Latte e Miele are from here. Not to mention the “Genoese songwriters” scene, with mind blowing artists such as De Andrè, Gino Paoli and Luigi Tenco who were huge in the 70’s, and so on.

With regards to the metal and rock scene, Genoa gave birth to bands like Necrodeath, Sadist and Malombra (to name but few) in the most extreme sector, and Isaak, Gandhi’s Gunn, Meganoidi, La Maschera di Cera, Il Segno del Comando, La Coscienza di Zeno, for what concerns prog and rock “at large”.

We won’t go too deep on the very lively pop and indie scene but surely there’s a lot to check out there too.

Talking a bit more about the present, Genoa boasts a huge variety of bands and genres, from hip hop to rock, metal, prog, reggae, songwriters, stoner rock and everything in between. Some of the bands we just mentioned are still active and they’re a pleasure to watch live.

The city, despite being one of the most populated in Italy, is quite small when it comes to the local scene (which city is not like this, after all?), and in one way or another, we all know each other either by name or personally.

A few music shops and music labels exist and resist, providing invaluable support to emergent bands and famous ones by organising festivals and concerts, and offering showcase opportunities. We shall mention at least two of them: Flamingo and Black Widow.

Music clubs have been suffering massively in Genoa even before the current pandemic, with just a handful of venues surviving. Such a shame for a city that truly was and still is very vibrant in terms of ideas and bands.

Let’s see what will happen once this whole situation is over; we can’t wait to hit the stage as we released our debut just in the middle of this situation and have never played live. Weird times we live in!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest release is “Twenty-Twenty Live at Forte Geremia”, our first live video where we play our debut EP “Twenty-Twenty” for the first time.

It all started very low-profile: after releasing our debut “Twenty-Twenty” on November 20th, 2020, and being still unable to play live, we thought let’s do something and show the band is active. So, the initial plan was to do a live on Facebook or Instagram from our studio and just play chunks of the whole song. Just for the sake of doing something, really, getting ready for a concert, and showing another side of the band’s life. And most importantly – show the band playing live.

Then as it always happens one thing leads to the other, one of us has a crazy idea and the other two add fuel to the fire…It was the end of January when we started envisioning this project…So the first major change was that we decided to play the whole thing, and not just parts of it anymore, in an outdoor setting, and make it our first live concert.

Being winter, one of the coolest things would have been to do so in the snow (luckily and with hindsight, this didn’t happen)! We’re fans of the whole desert rock scene, so generator parties and the likes have had an impact, even visually, on us. The idea was, on one hand, to tribute that concept, and on the other hand, to play the whole song, as we never did before, showing the band in an amazing setting in the wild. Also, we saw the video Yawning Man did (Live at the Giant Rock) and it was an inspiration too, of course.

On top of that, Genoa, our city, is perfectly placed between sea and mountains. The city itself is kind of between two of the major mountain chains in Italy (Alps and Apennines), so when you talk about nature and the wild…it’s the mountain that you’re thinking about. And so, we did: the video was shot on top of an old fort (there’s dozens in the mountains behind the cities here in Liguria: not surprisingly, they were used to control the sea from enemies) and, even though it was not shot on the exact point of the fort we wanted as it was too windy, we’re extremely pleased with the end result.

Forte Geremia is officially the first live concert of IKITAN, a live concert which speaks of its times: there’s no audience and it’s only available on the Internet.

Live at Forte Geremia is based on “Twenty-Twenty”, which is our debut EP made of a 20-minute-20-second song, published on 20 November 2020.

The EP has been entirely self-produced, we started working on it a bit more seriously in the Spring of 2020, when we had enough material to put together three different songs. These were somehow linked among them and at one point we thought “why don’t we just release it as one only song and debut with a one-track EP”? Eventually, the song lasts 20 minutes and 20 seconds which is a bit of a coincidence…or is it not?

It’s a seamless trip where we touch upon the many influences that give life to our music and vision: post-rock, prog rock and heavy metal are the three main ingredients of our offering and we blend them together as much as we can to keep our music fresh and interesting.

The music was born by jamming, it’s that simple. When we enter the rehearsal room, none of us offers complete songs or definitive ideas to the other guys. We always let the music guide us and improvisation plays a key role too. It’s a totally free approach to music and we’re having a lot of fun.

We’re also very happy about the artwork of the album, which sees IKITAN, the god of the sound of the stones, smashing some rocks above his head. It was curated by Luca Marcenaro and we can’t thank him enough!

The album was recorded at Greenfog Studio, owned by Mattia Cominotto, one of the most important studios in Italy when it comes to rock and alternative music. We’re happy that we had the chance to work with Mattia.

To give the album and artwork justice, as mentioned, we released the EP in digipack and with a poster. Check it out on Bandcamp.

‘Twenty-Twenty Live At Forte Geremia’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Yawning Man, Tool, and Deftones if we were to pick just a few bands that really have all of us in agreement.

Usually, we start jamming as we plug the instruments and we always record everything so that we can go back to listen to it. We build our stuff from scratch so the inspiration comes from what happened during the day, the feeling in that moment or even if one of us ran out of fuel in the car on a rainy day.

The cool thing is that we learned to listen carefully to what each of us has to communicate when we play. In this way, we manage to sound consistent when we play together.

Talking about influences and “who” inspires us, the answer would be way too long if we were to describe what each one of us likes the most. So, let’s say that, as a band, our biggest influence is probably Tool.

The very first time we met, we started talking about Tool straight away, finding a common ground when describing how we felt when immersing ourselves in the world of the American band. Sounds pretentious but we knew something special was bound to happen from the first moment we started this conversation. Something suddenly clicked.

Also, we discovered we all were in Florence to see them in the Summer of 2019 (but we didn’t know each other). It was indeed a gig none of us will forget easily.

What first got you into music?

Frik Et: I received a guitar as a Christmas gift when I was 11 years old. Once I started…I realised I just couldn’t stop playing! But then I found out about another similar instrument: bass guitar. It was more introvert, yet as important and “cool” as the guitar. So, here’s how I switched to bass: it was a more fascinating, dark and mysterious “thing”.

Luca: I was 8 and one day my mom asked me if I wanted to start playing the guitar, I guess flute was not for me…So I started playing classical guitar and the step to the electric one has been very easy after hearing the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC and so on. From then, after a few experiences with bands, I met Frik Et and we started playing our music, zero cover from the very beginning and so we built up our way to realize our ideas.

Enrico: I’ve been wanting to play the drums since I was probably 6 or 7. My parents wouldn’t let me have the kit nor anything close to that (there was a drum kit I saw at a toy shop that it got brighter the more you beat on it… I still dream about it today!) until I insisted so much and eventually (and randomly) started getting into rock and heavy metal when I was 10-11 years old. Then there was no turning back: I started listening to Dream Theater, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden thanks to my elder cousin and I knew that would have been my passion for the rest of my life.

To calm me down, at one point they even tried to enrol me to a clarinet course within the local brass band, so I did study all the music theory (which obviously was forgotten a few days after finishing the course) but I just wanted to play the drums! So, it took me a while but I got there in the end.

Funnily enough, my sister and dad both play the guitar, and my mom loves singing, so music has always been around at my place. I guess that’s why I had the impulse from a very young age.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

We’re good friends of London-based heavy rock and stoner band Gramma Vedetta, so one of the plans (currently a dream) before the pandemic hit was to convince them to do a few gigs supporting them in London. So, we’d love to do that once this is over. Hope you guys are reading this! Ha!

A big shout out to Kurt Russhell and Isaak, both from our city. We’d love to play with them too as soon as possible!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Woodstock 1969! Who wouldn’t like to be there? Alternatively, Pinkpop 2001.

Talking about the future/a dream…we’d be content with a Lollapalooza I guess! Or an Ozzfest or a Download.

Or something more local, and more desert-like…DunaJam in Sardinia.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Play it loud, and as Lemmy used to say: “if it’s too loud, you’re too old”.

WE LOVE YOU! <3 Take care and stay safe. We can’t wait to meet you all and do a lot of concerts once this whole situation is over.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Chris Cornell.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Like: Creativity and the ability to freely express ourselves without having to follow any given directions.

Dislike: The admin side of things and not being able to play live, but the first is part of the game, and for the second we’ll just have to wait.

So, for now all is great, we’re having a lot of fun and after many years of purposeless projects we feel we’re doing something we really like.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

We’d love to see a change in mentality and for people to start caring more about the music itself than about “the world” around it aka music business.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Luca: Led Zeppelin – “II”

Frik Et: Deftones – “White Pony”

Enrico: Iron Maiden – “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Anything as long as there’s good music inside. We believe all the things have to evolve and so does the way music is enjoyed. Sure, there’s plenty of controversy here, let’s just say we’re fine with whatever can help us reach people. We’re big consumers of both digital and physical music, so it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.

From a technical standpoint, the audio quality is way better on cd and on a digital format, but the emotional factor plays a key role when it comes to cassettes and most importantly on vinyl.

One thing that’s always important is to go out, check out your local bands and support them by buying CD’s and merch.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

It can be only…Live at Forte Geremia! 😊

We actually also played in an empty theatre in May 2021, we took part in a contest and it was an awesome experience!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

This should be the opposite: We’re full time “regular” workers, and we’d love to be full time musicians instead!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

None of our relatives for sure! Jim Carrey, Maynard James Keenan, Robert Fripp, Jennifer Lawrence and Keith Moon.

What’s next for the band?

We’re already preparing the songs for our full-length and getting ready for more gigs as the situation looks a little easier now.

We’ve been jamming on so many cool ideas, some of them just couldn’t fit into “Twenty-Twenty” once we decided on the one-song debut format so it’s time to get them out and see what comes out of them.

We also recently moved to a new studio and rehearsal room. This is a huge improvement: Luca is also a sound engineer and does production for bands, so basically we’re occupying his studio!

Finally, we’re in a place we (and he) can call home and where we can give life to our jams stress-free and with no time limitations.

Last but not least, not having to travel for work and/or travel for leisure means we have plenty of time to meet in the studio, and we’re seeing at least one good thing about this pandemic shit: we’re playing way more than we’ve ever played in our lives!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can find our album for purchase on Bandcamp. On the more social media side of things, we’ve been active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter since the release of the CD, and you can find our music on YouTube and Spotify too.
www.linktr.ee/ikitan

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Excellent biscuits…but have you tried Gocciole?! 😛

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about IKITAN. We’re a young independent band and we’ve been managing all aspects of our music and promotion on our own. Being able to reach a big audience such as Ever Metal’s one is surely very encouraging.

If you like brave debut albums and you’re not afraid of a fully instrumental approach, “Twenty-Twenty” is for you.

Check us out and thanks for reading!

Ikitan Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.