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Calamity - Kairos - 90%

Edmund Sackbauer, October 8th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Independent

I don’t know why but I always tend to think of Puerto Rico as being located in South America. However, while listening to “Kairos” it becomes obvious that Calamity are mainly influenced by Western/Northern peers. Thrash metal from no-matter-which part of America is something that always comes with high expectations as the standards are usually pretty high and I am glad to report that this record is no exemption to this rule.

Beside reminding of big names like Exodus or Testament a lot of the riffs also have quite a classic NWOBHM feel lending the music a very uplifting character. The main chords will sound familiar to any fan of traditional metal but they are played with such passion and energy that missing innovation should not be a problem for potential listeners. Like mentioned above some of the hooks remind me a bit of bands like Thin Lizzy while in some other sections the band does not shy away from implementing some subtle prog nuances or more modern elements helping to elevate Calamity above your standard thrash metal band. The interaction of straight-forward chord progressions, chugging riff attacks and the fantastic lead guitar work makes up for a great mixture that never gets boring.

The drumming is on point and while the rhythm section is mostly focused on building a great foundation for the guitarists there are moments where both drummer and bassist get their chance to shine. Certain sections are highlighted by ultra-fast fills and double kicks while other parts ask for a more laid-back approach.

The songwriting is tight and on point and while there are some impressive soloing parts it is clear that the most important fact for the band is to present stringent songs perfectly suited for banging your head and having fun without coming across as being too simple. I do not (yet) know the predecessor “Imminent Disaster” so I cannot talk about any kind of progressions made but it is obvious that Calamity act as a great unit of experienced musicians knowing exactly where they want to go with their sound. If there is any critic to be made it might be the fact that Calamity sometimes want to present too many ideas at once.

Singer Berny has a perfectly fitting voice for that kind of music. Staying in mid-register most of the time his powerful soaring helps raising the intensity level up a notch when needed. In the Spanish sung half-ballad “El Vacio” he even shows great emotion and variability.

The production is flawless with the guitars sounding crunchy and the drums being punchy but not too sterile. All the small details can be heard and each instrument got enough room to breathe. Rounded off by a great looking cover artwork “Kairos” is a real highlight and a special album that should not be missed by open minded fans of thrash or traditional metal in general. These guys are on their way to the top.