Though it takes its prime breath from death core Architecture of a Lie, the debut album from French metallers Karma Zero has plenty of corrosive additives to place it apart from the majority of emerging bands within the genre. The release is a rabid and destructive brute of an album with senses ravaging and intrusive violence its prime directive but throughout it teases and seduces with an imaginative and passionate invention which you cannot fail to fall before. Whether it just wears one down into submission or manipulates with devious hidden alchemy the album and band eventually and certainly gained an exhausted and ardour driven recruit to their intent.
Formed in 2008 the band from Nantes brings a feverish blend of metal, metalcore, and electro to its deathcore heart, a sound which has seen the band earned strong support and responses in their homeland. Their self-titled EP in 2009 marked the band as a promising rising force, that feeling soon supported by their performances alongside the likes of Madball, Shining, and The Arrs as well as successful festival spots at events such as Hellfest Metal Corner and Motocultor. Recording their first album with Stéphane Buriez (Loudblast) in 2011, Karma Zero is primed to explode into a much wider receptive recognition with its recent release via Ultimhate Records.
The title track sparks things off by immediately pounces on the ear with bone snapping beats and ravenous riffs completed by equally predatory vocals. It is an assault which sets you back on your heels to then draw you straight in to its grasp with a maelstrom of sonic textures and a hunger driven intensity. The brawling vocal attack which shifts from a duo to a three prong attack is outstanding but initially distracts from the musical creativity going on beneath its snarl. Into its stride though the track opens up its arms to allow every element to takes its potent place in the course of the song and enriches the senses with a wealth of aggressive variety.
As the following Next Time and No Answers state their individual declarations the album continues to offer a magnetic lure and oppressive malevolence brought through strong musicianship and invention. The two songs do not quite light up the fires within as much as the first but still easily impress even if they arguably are two tracks which bring a more expected genre stance before the ear. The album is not one to rest on its laurels though and the further into its savagery it goes the stronger its imagination and greed to explore increases with songs like Frozen Angel and the outstanding Hidden Law stretching their boundaries and ingenuity with compelling creativity. The first of the pair transfixes the ear with militant riffs but bewitches with an emotive electronic ambience that leaves thoughts drifting into their own interpretation of the narrative. Finely crafted in its moments of reflection musically and dangerously nasty with all weaponry cascading upon the senses in other times, the track is a major highlight of the release soon surpassed by its successor. Hidden Law expels its deepest guttural spite to crawl all over the fierce sonic flames and uncompromising rhythms, its rapacious malice a unique delicious poison for the ear and insidious nectar for the passions.
Through the likes of the voracious Grown Up and the flesh scorching Ghosts the band leave further welcome scars whilst bringing one last elevated triumph with Snake, the most experimental and track on the album. As unfriendly as it is contagious, the song is a magnet for the passions with its riveting expanse of flavours, styles, and character.
Architecture Of A Lie is a decisive and inciting introduction to a band which one senses is heading towards making a strong mark for itself in European metal. Watch out Karma Zero is coming to feed upon your weaknesses.
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