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More suitable for gigs - 76%

Colonel Para Bellum, March 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Saturnal Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

Kyy perform very dynamic, vigorous, and even toe-tapping black metal. Short songs follow in quick succession one by one, as if in a feverish kaleidoscope. Furthermore punk is recognized in their music structure sometimes. Or, if you want to stay within the black metal terms, you can hear Impaled Nazarene at some speed passages. Perhaps, this band can be called as one of the main influences on Kyy. Perhaps.

With or without punk (that means whether you agree or not), the "Beyond Flesh - Beyond Matter - Beyond Death" album is listened to in one breath. Definitely, this work should be listened to if you want to cheer up, to get a shot of adrenaline. But to penetrate into their music to feel the obscure suspense and atmosphere, that's hardly going to work. At least I didn't succeed (like with Impaled Nazarene by the way). Such music and such performance are more suitable for gigs.

A kind of unruliness – sometimes nearly, pardon me, mosh – substantially outweighs the atmosphere. And the vocalist with his exacting and inviting voice makes the significant contribution into this deal. In fact, the vocals take almost all the attention of the listener. Not to mention that the vocalist often makes shouts (some battle cries), with which, you know, you can hype up the audience during show, these "hey! hey! hey!" Well, it's good for gigs, but I don't understand such things on a studio album.

There are hysterical notes in the vocals sometimes, and I think there should be more such notes: they add the specific otherworldliness to the vocals.

In my opinion the ritual message (with which the texts are filled, that's for sure) of the band drowns in this "gig-component". (Or "punk-component", although their black metal isn't so "punkish" as the Impaled Nazarene music.) Again, there is almost a problem to feel here the atmosphere. Maybe it's all about mixing?

Well, in this regard, it is worth looking at the debut of the band "Travesty of Light" EP (2015). The music is the same there, which includes gig-(or punk)-component too. However, the guitar sound is "softer", more penetrant and atmospheric. While the guitar sound on the "Beyond Flesh - Beyond Matter - Beyond Death" album is harsh and rasping, but this harshness is "punkish" again, it is not harshness of raw black metal at all. And the "metallic" bass sound adds a wrinkle – while bass on the "Travesty of Light" EP was not a thorn in flesh. The vocals were not so provoking there too.

So what's happening? If it's so called "musical progress", I don't like it.

The good news (for those who are not enthusiastic about the "punk experiment") is there are enough episodes of pure black metal on the album, and it gives me a chance to listen to it again. The fourth song "Reditus" is in middle tempo, and this is a perfect example of how profoundly Kyy sound when they pay attention to the atmosphere. The fifth song "Panta Rhei" is the most interesting from the point of view of the musical attack: the composition begins with a slow groove, but quickly breaks into the attack. It's also interesting how they come off of it. The seventh "Lord of the Desolate Paths" is really slow song, there is something of Mayhem here.

And the tenth song "Erecting Temple of Adversary" is the best one for me: at the very beginning we hear a very atmospheric solo, which is superimposed on a rather mediocre chord, and from 1:40 solo becomes even more piercing and heartfelt. As the theme unwinds, it goes into the guitar fingerpicking. Fantastic work! Alas, this song is rather an exception to the rule.