Karkosa - Official Website


United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Encorcelled Spirits
2. Poison Of God
3. The Tomb Of Hyram Abiff
4. Domini Sanctum
5. Axis Mundi
6. Remnants Of Creation
7. Cyclopian Gateway
8. Shattered Throne
9. The Freezing Shadows Of Eternal Winter
10. Angelus Ejectiones

Review by Alex Grindor on December 29, 2023.

A relatively new band, Karkosa established their presence in 2018 with the EP Harvest Of The Adept, which drew some attention. Now, almost 6 years later, they spawn their first LP Esoterrorcult. As soon as it starts, it is clear that this is quite the beast, wasting no time in ripping and tearing through your speakers.

With barely any sort of warning, dissonant harmonies open the gates of Esoterrorcult, as the first track 'Encorcelled Spirits' displays a furious barrage of blackened death expertly executed. In this single track we are treated to everything the album has to offer; machine-gun drums, ravaging guitar riffs and a wide variety of vocals, ranging from hellish growls to clean vocals. Music wise, the album is a furious display of black death with a palatable rage in every aspect of the album. The guitars cut through with furious, monstrous riffs and harmonies that never seem to cease, as well as a dash of dissonant work that adds to the atmosphere of the album. The drums are maniacal in their delivery, with constant blasts and changes in rhythm without losing any aggression in their delivery. The bass guitar, as it is the norm in this style, is barely perceptible. It does show at moments and its weight is sort of present but it's lost in the mix with the rest of the instruments. The vocals have quite the range and shift at every possible moment, sometimes even harmonizing between them.

Production-wise, there is little to note here. It is well recorded and mixed and there are virtually no mistakes to take note of. Whoever was in charge of the studio did an excellent job, as did the band in their performance. The only minor complaint would be the bass buried in the mix but this is common in extreme metal bands, even more recent ones. That aside, I did find the clean vocals to be a bit odd being included amidst the chaos of the music. This issue is quickly addressed though, as they are well performed and add another layer of chaos and despair to the overall sound, while not being overly featured.

Karkosa has crafted an excellent record with little to no issues to be noted. Their unhinged blackened death is executed to utmost perfection, showcasing a band that has completely grasped the vision of where they want to take their music. In 10 tracks they deliver everything, from apocalyptic frenzy to horrific atmosphere, and I hope that Karkosa only improves as time goes on. The album is set to be released in February 2024 and I would suggest checking it out as soon as it is released. This is one hell of a maniacal album and deserves your attention, as Esoterrorcult blurs the line between melodic black metal and brutal death metal, threading in a space I can confidently say is their own.

Rating: 9.4 out of 10