Review Summary: Groovy and punishing with the riffs to match, Konkhra's debut is an underrated album of the early death metal scene.
Konkhra is very much a band of the Danish death metal sound, sharing many elements with fellow Danes Illdisposed (who Konkhra are overall comparable to in quality) and Iniquity (who are badass, at least on their debut). Featuring a low, round sound and groovy (but pretty fast) pacing, as well as considerable technicality and songs to match, the band's first album, Sexual Affective Disorder
is a forgotten but powerful album. Following efforts don't really compare to its quality, but the album certainly outclasses some better known and better accepted efforts by other bands.
One of Konkhra's strengths is its instrumental quality. The guitars on the album navigate riffs of various kinds; ultra fast tremolo picked figure, chuggier slow riffs (this is one of the albums that can do low, repeated chugs without being faux), and technical figures, all with tight and groovy precision, while the guitar solos are excellent throughout, with a bluesy feel and plenty of melody. The bass is frequently about and doing fills and slaps, benefiting from a mix through which it is audible and clear. The drumming is tight and active throughout, with rapid double bass changing to slower and simpler segment with a flick of a musical switch, while the vocals vary from ultra low, guttural growls to mid to upper range roars and screams that work effectively. The production is clear and extremely heavy, with the guitars being bass heavy and crushing while the other instruments still have their space to involve themselves.
Center Of The Flesh
opens the album with an excellent group of riffs that set it powering through its structure, with low chuggy sections used in an effective way while melodies head over the top, before heading into sections of vicious tremolo picking and awesome bass fills that place the song as one of the immediate highlights of the album. Seasonal Affective Disorder
, after a rather bizarre intro, features excellent riffs throughout that groove excellently with the other instruments and the typical vocal quality found throughout the album, before entering yet more tremolo picking that never gets tiring. The Dying Art
just further delves into riffs and grooves that crush bones, with added aggression from a hammer-blast-beat, while Visually Intact
just crushes further with some really catchy riffing after another bizarre introduction, with some good solo work. Evilution
features some of the album's better riffs and a section somewhat reminiscent of Sarcophagic Frenzy off of the most recent Cannibal Corpse album, with a slow riff being topped with a simple melody above.Lucid Dreams
grooves exceptionally, managing to be one of the simplest but most entertaining tracks on the album, while Thoughts Abandoned
does more of the same with utmost efficiency and some of the more technical riffs on the album. Empty Frames
moves with slow and crushing pace, with some interesting time signature elements on display.
Probably the biggest problem that this album has is the quantity of chugging on it. Unlike a lot of bands that use chugging, Konkhra uses it effectively, but here you'll be finding it all over the album. It's not sustained for too long and not without changing patterns and added guitar lines above, but it's encountered frequently and could be a turn off for people who find it just a bit too monotonous, despite some really excellent riffs mixed in with it, as well as some great drumming lines. Overall the album is way above average and has a series of qualities that put it above some of its rivals in the early death metal scene, but the chug could put people off.
Center Of The Flesh
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Chaos To Climb