Karkaos – In Burning Skies
In Burning Skies
There aren’t many things better than discovering an awesome and unique new female fronted band, but one thing that certainly is: Discovering an awesome and unique new female fronted band from your own country! Yes, this great debut EP In Burning Skies, is brought to us by Karkaos from Montreal, Canada. This makes it a special treat for me, because while there are some pretty cool metal bands here, we don’t have too many actual good metal bands with female vocals, and especially not of this type.
I was initially impressed by the video they released for “The Tempest”, which showed a band with a high energy level and extremely high level of talent playing some really epic melodic death metal with symphonic elements. After hearing the full EP several times, I’m glad to report that song wasn’t a fluke, as the band makes good on their promise for 5 great songs (the first track is just an intro), and now I just hope they can get enough attention and come out with a full length album at some point.
The songs here are primarily melodic death metal with some excellent guitar and keyboard, but the band uses plenty of symphonic keys and some choir vocals as well. Oftentimes the sound is rather grand. The music is somewhat heavy, but even as far the genre goes, extremely melodic. Vocalist Veronica O Rodriguez is excellent, and was the biggest thing that stuck out to me. She starts off with some uniquely strong clean vocals, then without warning launches into some very impressive growls. She mixes things up quite a bit throughout, though I’d say the harsh vocals are actually her greatest strength. Based on the video, it seems like she really gets into it when she’s doing the harsh vocals, which is cool. She sometimes snarls, dragging out words a bit, and this enhances songs further. Especially on “The Last Stand”, which is my second favorite.
Speaking which, this song adds in some folk elements, and comes off sounding a bit like a mix between Finntroll and Ensiferum. None of the songs are weak, but I’m not too fond of the chorus for “Ashes”, as it has some rather unnecessary clean male vocals (he sounds decent, but it seems pointless to have him when the lead vocals are so special). Actually, there are a few sections with male vocals (including some of the growls, I believe), and those parts are easily the weakest. Everything else is great, however, the band saved their best for last as “The Tempest”, is simply a brilliant song that showcases the full potential of the band. That chorus is certainly going to be hard to beat! Also excellent is the first full song “Awaiting the Clock’s Last Turn”, where that snarl effect first shows up.
With a nice mix of epic melodic death metal and symphonic metal, plus the unique vocals of Veronica and some very catchy songwriting, Karkaos are definitely a band to watch out for. They have everything they need to be something special. Hopefully they will get their chance.
Travis Green’s Rating: 3.75 out of 5