KAIJU - K2
Genre: Progressive Metalcore
Release Date: September 1st, 2023
Label: Prime Collective
Heading from Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, progressive metalcore four-piece KAIJU drew inspiration from the world’s highest mountain and named their second release “K2” (out on September 1st via Prime Collective). The mighty summit and its dangerous ways to climb it stand as metaphor for the album’s concept, dealing with the challenges and rewards everyone experiences throughout their lives. For the band, K2 not only symbolizes an immensely physical and mental feat, but also the spiritual mountain inside us all that no one can avoid trying to scale a few or even many times.
With an opener like "Awakening Sign" they don't need much time to wake up their audience, as they're firing on all cylinders from the beginning. Especially the fat bass and dry drum sound push the songs forward coming along with complex polyrhythms, accompanied by a powerful, often dissonant guitar work. The vocals alternate between screams, growls and clean singing, giving each part the right expression. Next up is "False Truth", starting with a wonderfully sung melody layed over the rather simple, but very groovy basis, before the breakdown and chorus hits in hard. This kind of dynamic and creativity in their song-writing makes it a favorite of mine here.
Having been new to their music, one of the first things I noted during the initial listen was their professional, detailed sound, and checking the liner notes revealed a familiar name, as Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Theory…) took care of the mixing and mastering.
Over the next songs, they work well with the earlier mentioned elements, wandering between metalcore and djent-driven progmetal, but also skillfully add thoughtful, atmospheric passages when they slow down their mostly high tempo, as well as some amazing guitar solos. Another highlight is “Mirage” for me, offering a dreamy moment thanks to the touching vocal performance and the mesmerizing soundscapes woven by the instruments in the background, then they slowly but surely grow tension towards an intense finale.
All-together, KAIJU present a strong, second album with a consistent concept and great sound. Sometimes, they tend to stay too long with a certain chord progression or melody line, getting a bit too repetitive then. But when they rock forward, what they do quite often, or change tempo and atmosphere to support the message of their tracks, the music turns out powerful and intense. With songs like “False Truth” or “Mirage”, they show their creative potential, especially when moving away from the well-known metalcore paths towards more progressive song-writing and interesting sound structures. Welcome to join them on their metaphorical K2 climb.
Written by Katha
1. Awakening Sign
2. False Truth
4. End of Day
5. You will Dissolve
6. Golden Leafs
10. New Beginning