Kinasis – ‘Pariah’ EP Review

Kinasis hail from the South-West of England, although the pastoral setting of their location does little to calm the raging nerves that scream out, raw and exposed, from their music. Self-defined as a “multi-faceted, technical, extreme-metal band”, Kinasis operate in similar sonic territory to Meshuggah, Sikth and Dillinger Escape Plan (back when they used to jam on Aphex Twin covers with Mike Patton), and new EP ‘Pariah’ provides the perfect four-track summary of their skills. Despite stunning musical proficiency, the band’s secret weapon is singer Tom whose vocals undergo more changes than the Scarlet Pimpernel, ranging from smooth, tuneful cleans to the most unholy of roars with fluid ease, never predictable, but always driving the songs forward in unexpected directions.

The EP does not so much open as explode with the unhinged, elastic groove of ‘Red Earth’ battering the listener into a bruised and bloody pulp. At this point you’d be forgiven for expecting a technically proficient explosion of hulking death metal, only for Tom to suddenly shift into a melodic line that opens up whole new sonic possibilities for the band. This is not to be confused in any way with the band going soft. The melodies help to define the song and keep it memorable, but it’s the percussive brutality of Tom’s roar that snaps you back to earth with an almighty thump whilst Jason terrorises his kit, beating it into submission and employing innovative fills as often as possible. Synth lines, spoken word elements and more fly through the mix, brought to life with frightening clarity by Justin Hill (ex Sikth), who knows exactly how to get the best out of this style of music. ‘Black Dog’ (no, not that one), emerges from an eerie synth scree reminiscent of Fear factory, Marcus and Sellick caressing the lowest end of their seven string guitars as Tristan does his best to comprehensively rearrange your bowels with a low end that is summoned up from somewhere near the earth’s core. Very much in the sphere of Meshuggah, in terms of the cyclical riffs that dominate the song, the band nonetheless run with their influences and inject their own personality, not least in the varied vocals and deft melodic shifts that once again raise the song from the realms of the proficient to the exceptional. The band head into a dark groove on the hulking ‘Kindred’, a relatively straight forward (well, as far as Kinasis go) track that will give the mosh pit a chance to go nuts without having to perform contortions best left to Joga experts. Making sure to never repeat the same trick twice, the final track, ‘Incipient’, is a hell-bound melange of twisted riffs delivered at hyper-speed, haunting melodic breaks and complex percussive patterns that will have the audience dancing counter-clockwise, attempting to headbang with their feet or, err, something. As with all the songs on the EP it’s technically stunning and yet devilishly accessible, and, like Hannibal Lecter, once you let the band into your head, you’ll find them rattling around inside for days at a time.

You might have gathered from the excessive use of superlatives that I’m something of a fan of Kinasis. Since seeing the band lay waste to the stage at HRH United, I’ve been awaiting this EP with keen anticipation and it does not disappoint on any level. From the haunting artwork (courtesy of the endlessly talented Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art) to the savagely beautiful production of Justin Hill, this EP delivers and it looks set to bring the band to a whole new audience. Kinasis are truly exceptional and this EP is the proof – don’t miss out! 9

Check out Kinasis’ store here.

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