KRASHKARMA – FALLING TO PIECES
LABEL: Rockshots Records
RELEASE: June 23rd, 2023
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings
01. Falling To Pieces
02. 15 Minutes Of Pain
03. Survive The Afterlife
04. Tap Dancing Through Minefields
05. Last Rites
06. Voodoo Devil Drums
07. How God Lost Her Virginity
08. Orphans In Zombieland
09. Shut Up
11. mONSTERS eXIT tHE hOPELESS
12. Before The World Moved On
The first thing which surprised me about this album is the fact that KRASHKARMA is a two-piece outfit. Niki Skistimas covers vocals and drums, whilst Ralf Dietel does the gruffer singing, guitar and bass. Their sound is huge, enhanced by a quality production. Contemporary metal in style there is a range of influences, mainly of the modern genres, lurking within this 12-track release.
Opening with the title track, the songs come fast and furious. There are bits of metalcore, the chunky riffage of Slipknot, and even wider symphonic metal across this album. The ferocious tempo of “Tap Dancing Through Minefields” is balanced by Skistimas’ clean vocals that soar about the maelstrom the band generate. It’s a sound that very much fits with the modern feel, although there are elements of nu-metal and the stomp of Rob Zombie that filter through as you listen to each track.
It’s impressive that the band can generate a sound that sounds like a five-piece, and one wonders how they bring it live. With a selection of European festivals on the list for this Summer, maybe someone can tell us!
If I have any criticism, it’s mainly that the band rely very much on a similar pattern and style as the album progresses. Shouty male vocals are balanced by more melodic female singing, whilst the sheer intense stomp of the band demonstrates why they have a few dates supporting the Butcher Babies. “Last Rites”, for example, is well executed but blends with any number of other bands who sit within the alternative metal label.
There is, however, much to enjoy if you like your music badged as modern metal. The drumming is solid, anchoring the songs alongside the pulsing bass lines, whilst Dietel’s guitar work sits neatly into the mix. Even the synths that they use fit neatly. “Voodoo Devil Drums” is loud, bombastic and in your face, the interplay between the pair neat and focused. And occasionally they throw in something a bit different. Check out the industrial “Fireball” as one interesting change of direction.
“How God Lost Her Virginity” is a title sure to rattle more than a few cages. It’s a smouldering ballad, which slowly turns into a mid-paced song that provides a little breather from the higher paced music that crashes around. The anthemic feel of “Orphans In Zombieland” makes it a shoo-in for the live set, with its sweeping vibe and heavy riffs combining with screams and roaring vocals.
This type of modern metal doesn’t really get me excited, such is the rather generic style that it is following. But if you enjoy explosive riffs, pounding drums and shouty dual vocals that certainly spice things up, then “Falling To Pieces” may well fit your bill. With selected European dates to come, it’ll be interesting to see how a festival audience over this side of the pond reacts.