With DIMMU BORGIR and CRADLE OF FILTH having new albums out on the market, it's probably as good a time as any for Singapore/Nepal Symphonic Black Metal hellions KALODIN to make their marks. They're just as moody and dramatic as DIMMU, and they cull from the same sexually deviant, ritualistic, and gothically evil pools as do CRADLE (though KALODIN don't come off as ridiculous, which can't exactly be said for Dani Filth's band these days), so fans of both camps should find interest.
The title of the band's first album "The Bestial Ritualism Of Harlotry" pretty much says it all. You're in for gore, sultry and dangerous women out for blood (and, uh, more), and horrific brutality. What's more Metal than that? Led by guitarist Davin Shakya (who also produced the MIDI drumming … more on that later), vocalist Kiew Jay Joel, and bassist Bikash Rai (they've since added OmEO on guitar), the band makes its case as an up-and-coming act that, while not exactly original in its approach, sound hungry and have the chops to get better as they gain experience.
A drawback - and to the band's credit, they point this out in their bio materials - the album contains MIDI drumming. It's hard to ignore when listening, and it would behoove them to get a real-life, breathing man or lady behind the kit to add some organic viciousness next time. But that aside, this batch of nine songs pretty much works, and while their evil drapery sometimes is a little cartoonish, it fits them.
"Forsaken Virgin Demonlord" is like a mix of IRON MAIDEN, DIMMU, and early BLEEDING THROUGH, with Joel's shrieks and growls penetrating the violence. "Souls Of The Dead" is the best cut on here, as there are flourishes of Power Metal and even has a bit of a Pop backbone, with its melodic chorus and riveting melody. "In Glorificus Luctus (The Mourning After)" begins with acoustic dashes, before leading into more Symphonic territory and apocalyptic ruin (as referenced in the chorus). This song actually is most effective when heard through headphones, as it absolutely envelops you.
Certainly there is plenty of room for this band to grow, but what else would one expect from a debut? KALODIN have a knack for songwriting and do the Symphonic Black thing in such a way that you can hear what inspired them but they don't just regurgitate that back to you. They take the genre and your imagination further, and with more time under their belts (and a live drummer), they could be a terrifying force with which to contend.