Kastasyde – Gnosis

Kastasyde Promo Photo 2015 BW_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

If there has been another album this year as startlingly diverse and adventurous within its confines, providing a truly coherent passage from start to finish than Gnosis, it has so far been hiding away. The new creative incitement from Chicago metallers Kastasyde, the release is a fascination on first listen, a captivation after more eager plays, and an eventual obsession over time. Some offerings hit you straight between the eyes and others make a smouldering proposal leading to the same success. Gnosis is both persuasions at the same time and a release destined for best of year nominations.

Formed in 2001, Kastasyde has released a couple of demos, a pair of well-received albums, and a similarly successful EP. Their ever evolving sound has also lured in comparisons to the diverse likes of Mastodon, Acid Bath, Napalm Death, and Machine Head, suggestions sure to expand as Gnosis continually unveils its inventive persuasion and colossal depths. Inviting a guest guitar solo from Black Dahlia Murder guitarist Ryan Knight as well as lap steel guitar contributions by Justin Spring within the album, the quintet of vocalist Jarrett Roberts, guitarists Eric Kornfeind and Jerome Marshall, bassist Dustin Roberts, and drummer Garry Naples (Novembers Doom) take little time to rile up and bewitch the imagination with their highly anticipated album, quickly giving progressive extreme metal and metal in general, a new protagonist to get excited over.

Gnosis opens with Natural State and instantly has attention enthused as a thumping of beats match the roaming exploits of guitar and bass. It is a tenacious and fiercely inviting start luring the listener into a subsequent inferno of vocal hostility, ferocious rhythms, and hungry intensity. Death metal, hardcore, and groove metal unite in the maelstrom of ideation already badgering ears and lighting thoughts, the gripping onslaught providing an increasingly more expansive landscape of sound with each passing twist and moment. As the track spins through essences of noise and progressive rock as well as a blackened malevolence, things continue to enthral and excite. It is an impressive and seriously busy opening to the album but one which never piles on the invention and thickness of its creative tapestry so that things are smothered or missed, or indeed under appreciative. In saying that though, as song and album prove over time, each listen only reveals new and fresh nuances which only increase the pull of its presence.

Kastasyde Gnosis Album Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The following Buried in the Sky continues in the same vein but with a distinctly individual character. Jarrett Roberts’ vocals once more squall with expression and magnetic persuasion as the guitars of Kornfeind and Marshall simultaneously scorch and dance over the senses. Their union alone ensures a hungry appetite but with the throbbing bass adventure offered by Dustin Roberts a prowling enticing alongside the rapier swings of Naples, greed becomes involves, especially once the song slips into a flowing passage of melodic rock deeded imagination. It is calm in the storm and more, a Stone Sour-esque crooning laying out an evocative tempting to get fully involved with before the drums raise their energies and enterprise to lead song and ears into a ruggedly tempestuous roar.

The album’s epic title track is next, ten minutes which alone provides an intensive exploration of sound and emotion as extremes and contrasts again collaborate in a mouth-watering landscape of craft and ingenuity. A gamut of provocative atmospheres and flavours are woven into the turbulent flight, the suggestion that there is something for everyone in a song never a truer claim.

The melodic beauty of In the Spiral with its sultry ambience and crooning vocal incitement comes next, the song a seductive ballad as powerful in its creative voice and feeling as the blazing fury of Blackheart which follows. As its predecessor, the song is outstanding, a hellacious rage of rock ‘n’ roll sculpted with the richest armoury of fierce metal textures. It too, and as now expected is equally a web of uniquely different and seamlessly aligned flavours and ideation; ears and imagination once more being constantly challenged and rewarded.

Never At Peace is the next gloriously inventive brawl on Gnosis, a fusion of hardcore and metal which twists and rampages like a dervish but equally creates a melodic and contagious roar which is as predatory as it is warmly bracing. With its brilliance and adversarial invention just outshining the peaks already making up the album, the track takes best of honours before being almost matched by the mesmeric radiance of Empyrean. Opening guitar enterprise and its subsequent endeavour has a Steely Dan feel to it whilst the sultry and mystique lined melodies and imagination which veins another powerful song, seduce like a mix of Motherjane, In Flames, and KingBathmat.

Both tracks are breath-taking in their unique ways leaving the closing Tiamat a formidable task to ensure the album ends on a similar high. Bedlam is not quite the right word for the might and tempest of the thrilling finale, but best describes the whirlpool of adventure, ingenuity, and sounds colliding and colluding fluidly in the inimical emprise. In many ways the song sums up everything about the album and indeed the creative intent of Kastasyde, and yes it leaves Gnosis in as impressive a state and stature as it started and indeed further climbed to.

Kastasyde was a new introduction to us with Gnosis but leave with the words best of year challenger and major breakthrough release on the lips.

The self-released Gnosis is available now @ http://kastasyde.bandcamp.com/album/gnosis


RingMaster 05/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Dark flights in ravenous shadows: talking The Kahless Clone with Vito Marchese


Emerging from the creative invention and imagination of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, The Kahless Clone and debut EP An Endless Loop has been one of the most sonically cathartic and emotionally imposing debuts to hit 2015 so far. Exploring a new realm of sound and textures in the instrumental soundscapes making up the release, Vito simply takes ears and imaginations on flights through seductively oppressive soundscapes of encroaching shadows and sombre beauty. It is very different creative exploration to that of his ‘day job’ so we thought we would dig deeper into the man and project. With thanks to Vito who was very accommodating of our questions we looked into the origins of the band, the decision to venture into a new musical direction, his dark music and much more…

Hi Vito, many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

You are obviously more renowned for your music with Novembers Doom to most at the moment, so when did the idea and seeds to the emergence of The Kahless Clone start to blossom within you?

I had the idea of starting The Kahless Clone at the start of 2013. Another band I was in at the time was dissolving, and I wanted to make sure I had something else going on to fill up that space. Progress was slow at the beginning since Novembers Doom was working on writing our Bled White album, so I was focusing on that.

The accompanying press sheet to the band’s debut EP, An Endless Loop, said the band was formed to be an outlet for your instrumental music. Was that the only reason; was there a need to explore new areas too for you and your songwriting?

Having that extra creative outlet was a main reason, but other reasons included having a project that would be more active with performing live and doing long tours. I also wanted to do a project that was different than what I had done in the past. I wanted to explore some of my influences that I couldn’t really bring to the table in Novembers Doom. In The Kahless Clone I’m able to do some electronic and experimental types of ideas and songs.

I am assuming you have been writing instrumental tracks for a while? Where does this stretch you in different ways to your work with Novembers Doom?

I hadn’t really written instrumental music specifically before this project. I always pictured my ideas having vocals over them, and structuring songs in a way that would complement vocal melodies. With The Kahless Clone I can be a little bit more experimental with structures, and not have to worry about how vocals are going to fit over something.

Have you discovered new ideas and adventures in your writing for The Kahless Clone and the EP which surprised you?

Before writing music for The Kahless Clone I would always focus on creating solid and hooky riff based ideas that would later turn into song structures. The riff was the most important part of the song to me. I have a much different view point on songwriting now. I’m much more interested in creating a mood and atmosphere within the song, instead of writing cool riffs that get your attention.

How did you link up with the rest of the band?

Zach Libbe who did the electronic drum programming was the only person that I hadn’t worked with previously. We have mutual friends, and I had heard his electronic stuff before. I figured I’d shoot him a message and see if he would be down for working together. Luckily he turned out to be a really awesome dude, who knew exactly what I was looking for and was able to create it. I was in a band called Divinity Compromised with Andy Bunk and Ben Johnson. I knew they would be able to add a lot to the songs so I asked them if they would want to work on the EP. I play with Garry Naples in Novembers Doom, and knew he would be a great fit for this project as well. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the ability to work with really great musicians over the years.

Is this a fixed line-up or just for An Endless Loop and musicians will be a fluid line-up for future releases?

I really love working with the line-up that I had for An Endless Loop. I would love to use this line-up for the next release as well. I think it will come down to everyone’s schedules. When I started this project, I knew that I would want to be able to control when the band could go do things like record and tour. I didn’t want to get into a situation where things were ready to go, but some people didn’t have a free schedule. I like to keep things open where if need be, I can find session members for tours or studio recordings.

Your sound is described as dark music. Can you expand on that for newcomers?

When I say dark music, I mean that these songs are based on themes and moods that can evoke dark and somber feelings instead of your typical fist pumping, head banging reaction that most metal brings on. I wanted the listener to be able to get lost in the music and have it wash over them. Also calling it “dark instrumental music” is easier than saying “ambient progressive instrumental post-rock/metal with electronic elements”. It’s also a lot less confusing.

Are there any specific inspirations to your own musical tastes and invention which you would say have spiced your sounds with The Kahless Clone?

A major influence on me for creating The Kahless Clone was the band This Will Destroy You. I first heard them a few years ago, and was just blown away by their sound. I wanted to do something similar to that style, but mixed with my heavier influences, as well as electronic sounds. My goal was to create music that fans of atmospheric post rock, and metal could both enjoy and get something out of.

TKC PromoImageIn regard to An Endless Loop, were the first tracks upon it already set in tone in sound and direction before the other guys were involved in its recording or was there further evolution through their contributions?

I had made demos of the songs with drum parts and keyboard ideas on them. I knew what I wanted, but needed extra help in getting those ideas to actually sound good. I knew the guys would be able to take the ideas and really turn them into something great. I didn’t have any ideas for the bass, because I wasn’t entirely sure what direction I wanted it to go. Should it be a prominent part of the song, or more laid back and holding down the bottom end? Luckily Andy created some amazing bass lines that combined both of those things. Chris Wisco, who is my producer and engineer, then added his creative ideas and input on top of all of that.

Give us some insight into the recording of the EP.

This entire EP was self-financed by me, so it took a while for me to gather the funds and get open studio time booked. It was done in three separate sessions. Zach did the programming at his studio and sent me the finished tracks. After that Garry went in and recorded his drum tracks at Belle City Sound in Racine, WI. A couple of months after that Andy, Ben, and I went in and recording our tracks at Belle City Sound as well. We took another couple of months off, and then Chris mixed and mastered the EP.

How long was it in the making, from seeds to final day in the studio then?

The idea of the band started in early 2013, and the EP finally came out March 17th 2015. It’s been a long time in the making, but I think it was worth the wait. I’m really proud of how this EP came out, and it looks like a lot of people are digging it.

In our review we said the EP “lures ears and imagination into a soundscape of intimidating possibilities and melancholic beauty.” Did you have any specific intent with the release and music or is it a wholly organic exploration for yourself and indeed us?

I knew I wanted to make songs that were able to capture your attention and put you into a dark mind set. It’s easy to dictate how you should feel by the use of lyrics, so I wanted to try to challenge myself by creating feelings by only using the music and song titles. I think the artwork that Heather Lovett did for the EP helps enhance those feelings as well.

Did new ideas and thoughts of experimentation emerge whilst creating An Endless Loop which you are excited to explore further next time around?

I’ve never been into using effect pedals as a main songwriting tool. In the studio, Chris brought out some pedals that I had never used before, and I really liked how they sounded. I’m sure I’m going to explore some new ideas with different effects and tones. I think it’ll help me break out of the same routine you go through when trying to write music.

Have you found fans of your other work are taking to these new adventures and fascinating journeys with keen interest and anticipation?

It seems that fans of Novembers Doom and my other projects are liking what they are hearing from The Kahless Clone. That’s really great news, since I didn’t know how people would react to this EP. I think these songs came out great, and it’s a nice bonus that other people think so also.

What comes next for The Kahless Clone, we can assume it is an on-going project for you?

The Kahless Clone is going to be working on our live show, and focusing on touring and performing live often. A follow up recording is being planned for later this year as well. There is definitely more to come.

…And in other news from other band/projects ahead?

Novembers Doom just released our newest album last summer called Bled White. If you haven’t checked that out yet you can get it anywhere you buy digital music, or from The End Records.

Once again big thanks for talking with us Vito. Are there any last thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Thank you Pete for your support, this awesome interview, and the great review of An Endless Loop! You put a lot of work and thought into your reviews and interview questions. It’s much appreciated. Thank you to your readers as well. You can buy our music at all digital music stores, and you can get our physical cd at www.thekahlessclone.bandcamp.com

Check us out on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.




Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Kahless Clone – An Endless Loop


Atmospherically and emotionally shadowed, An Endless Loop is an immersive and magnetically evocative slice of post rock/dark metal which lures ears and imagination into a soundscape of intimidating possibilities and melancholic beauty. The four-track EP from The Kahless Clone is a mesmeric exploration for thoughts, a sonically cathartic and emotionally imposing journey casting fascinating and lingering shadows on the senses.

The debut release from the Chicago hailing instrumental band, it is a transfixing proposition which simmers tenaciously rather than sparks a blaze in ears and psyche, yet infests and submerges the listener in a constant tide of mood driven ambiences igniting the keenest appetite. The Kahless Clone itself is the brainchild of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, who created the band as a portal for his instrumental songs. He enlisted the help of bassist Andy Bunk, keyboardist Ben Johnson, drummer Garry Naples, and Zach Libbe on electronics, programming etc. for the recording of An Endless Loop. Recorded with and mixed/mastered by Chris Wisco at Belle City Sound in Racine, WI, the EP takes the listener to emotion drenched worlds of encroaching shadows and sombre beauty, providing impacting flights through seductively oppressive soundscapes starting with opener Leave This Place With Me.

The first track slowly emerges from the lapping caresses of a dark cloaked tide, the sea a calming yet portentous coaxing aided by similarly imposing breaths of keys and adjoining piano. Soon after, the piece cradles ears in melodic hands, guitars adding to the elegant beauty as electronic rhythms are courted by a ravenously and primordially snarling bassline and texture. Intensity ebbs and flows across the absorbing landscape of the track, taking the emotion and energy of the guitars and rhythms with it and as much as ears and emotions are fed, the imagination is equalled fuelled for its own dark passages of exploration by the sounds and atmospheric smog.

   I Can Feel Them, but I Can’t Remember Them relaxes air and thoughts again next, its morose yet warm entrance a bewitching collusion between a stark post punk bassline and the ever 10471599_846588275397987_8113942985732759572_nemerging and evolving melodic invention of guitar and keys. The bass of Bunk is persistently compelling bait and a reality check within the ethereal embrace elsewhere. It all eventually ignites in an incendiary and fiery eruption of caustic riffs and flaming sonic enterprise, though still sublimely submerged in the overwhelming celestial swamp of sound, before settling back down for an intimate and wistful close to match the song’s entrance.

The final pair of tracks continue the masterful persuasion and adventure expressed by the EP so far, Everything You See is Gone providing a more heavily rhythmic growl and menace to the forlorn atmosphere around them. It is as if guitars and keys have a pent up angst, ripening and festering inside, unable to break the gripping web of beats and bass predation which itself increases in enmity and temptation. There has to be an outlet though, and that dark emotion finally erupts in a tempestuous fire of mournful sonic endeavour and rampant rhythmic agitation. It is a glorious and epic confrontation, the best track on the release involving and enthralling the listener body and soul.

The closing A Somber Reflection, well its label describes it perfectly though not the creative drama and melodic, almost jazz like invention which seduces from within. It is a masterful end to a superb introduction to The Kahless Clone; a band that greed is already hankering for more from. An Endless Loop is also a release which unveils new depths and secrets with every listen, new essences emerging from within its invasive climates bringing fresh adventures with every partaking of its evocative terrains. For fans of progressive/post rock and instrumental dark beauty, this is a must.

An Endless Loop is available now on CD and as a name your price download @ https://thekahlessclone.bandcamp.com/


RingMaster 18/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/