Old Stomping Grounds
Death metal is to metal as jazz is to pop music. It’s highly complex and specialized, off-putting to the casual listener, and hasn’t been popular for a long time. Yet, in both jazz and death metal, dedicated artists steadfastly refuse to give up their craft and move on to more mainstream (and lucrative) genres. Why? Simply, because they love it, and they know their fans love it just as much. It’s this mentality that shapes northern New Jersey quartet Kalopsia’s newest full-length Amongst The Ruins, their first in 8 years. It’s pure classic death metal, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Opener “Salt Sown Earth” begins with a growl and a shriek from Matt Madeiros, and screams all the way through with blinding blast beats and churning, Suffocation-style heavy interludes. “Messiah Complex” features some characteristic swirling atonality from the guitars and a perversion of the Lord’s Prayer in the lyrics, while “Marred By Tragedy” slows things down to an easy, mid-tempo headbang. The standout track is definitely “Liar’s Eulogy,” which features an ultra-catchy intro laced with double pinch harmonics, as well as an insanely chaotic guitar solo. Finally, closer “Scatter The Remains” utilizes the obligatory Oppenheimer quote before morphing into an enjoyable stomp and exiting on a classic breakdown.
Amongst The Ruins is a well-crafted entry into the death metal gestalt, and definitely worth a listen for any fan of the genre as a whole. It’s not breaking new ground, and wouldn’t be the best place to start getting into death metal, but that doesn’t diminish its appeal in any way. For those looking for a (metaphorically speaking) inoffensive good time, Kalopsia has what you need.