Among the rising leaders of the 'djent' movement including Vildhjarta
resides Russian quintet The Korea
. They formed in 2003 from St. Petersburg and started out as just Korea. That is, until they released their third full-length album "Chariots
of the Gods" in 2012
, which was exposed to a good fanbase and positive critical response. In 2013, the band would continue their fusion of spacey technical metal with melodic metalcore in a three-song EP simply entitled "Saturnus
." Though obviously a brief release, it proves to be more than just a tease.
As always, the musicianship is demonstrated quite strongly here. The screamed vocals are very aggressive, and do a great job in delivering some of the album's heaviness. There is also some vocal rapping that envelops a few of the polyrhythms in this album, likely to generate more power for the music. It sometimes works, but it does sound a tad silly and forced at other times. Nonetheless, it holds up. On top of that, the clean singing, though used rather sparingly, also fare well in how fitting it is to the dark melodies delivered by the guitars. Speaking of which, the guitar work is, per usual, stellar in how they bring out heavy polyrhythms and spacey melodies with no noodling, making way for a tight but gripping performance.The drums are also greatly played out, being very solid while holding some technicality to help keep the audience engaged. The Korea
's instrumentation is as enjoyable as ever.
The production and mixing does the album good as well. There is a very good sense of atmosphere and resonance behind the music to make it more engaging outside of just its formula. At the same time, however, the instruments do sound clear and tight, and nothing sounds blendy. The result is production work that makes every element of musicianship come together while remaining potent and focused. On top of the great instrumentation, the production also does some wonders.
If you are a longtime fan of this band, then the sound that "Saturnus
" conjures up should be familiar. The three tracks concealed in this EP consist of progressive, technical metalcore that certainly would appeal to the 'djent' crowd, as well as fans of the band and the genre. They are very well-composed, and, while nothing entirely original, there is no denying that these tracks deliver in terms of complexity and power. Part of this is thanks to the stellar musicianship, but it also has to do with how solidly structured and laid-out the metal is. There are a lot of gripping parts, whether they be cosmic melodies or technical breakdowns, and they all tie together into coherent songs instead of simple parts of songs. This ends up making the music very investing in both respects, and nothing is noodled or clunky. In fact, the best track out of this release would be "Zion
," mainly because it is the catchiest out of the three, given that all three are planned out well.
" is a solid progressive metalcore record, definitely one needed to be checked for longtime The Korea
fans. Although it isn't very innovative and doesn't necessarily reach stellar levels for its own genre, it's nonetheless very enjoyable and strongly crafted. The musicianship is great, as well as the sound production, and the songwriting itself is very solid. As stated earlier, old fans of the group and progressive metal and hardcore followers will really enjoy this. After these three tracks, it will be very interesting to see what The Korea
will do with their next release.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/