‘Theory Of Karma’ from the Aldershot (UK) based Electronica /Industrial Metal band Dark Karma Soul may remind the listener of Mudvayne, with some of the latter tracks reminiscent of Soundgarden. The compositions have a complexity and a clear commitment to art that is noble and ambitious. But without being too overwrought. With bold vocals from lead singer Chris Westcott, and engaging set pieces from the other musicians throughout the entire recording, this is worthy of repeated listening.
The album starts with Pressure which is rapid in construction, a full-fizz spritzer of a song. The chilling ‘haunted house’ pipes may put the willies up you. And the technocratic percussive array shatters and clatters around your head. But guitars are laced with gossamer threads, and a wasping riff buzzes you half to death. Lyrically, this is a threatening song … “Don’t get too close … I’m gonna blow you away”.
Bow To Me begins with, what sounds like, the scraping of a bald man combing his own head. Then a rude drum bludgeons into view. Twisted guitars sulk slovenly around. Then Curve Ball has a few squelchy samples starting things off, before a riff runs in and takes the limelight. A simple vocal from Chris Westcott is forthright and business-like but not exactly shocking in its originality. Notes are squeaked out by band DJ Kahn Nage (who adds in some scratching). The end result is moderately addictive.
I am Judgement bubbles and screaks like a horde of poison arrow frogs in a jungle clearing. This piece has funky atmosphere to it, and a lazy voice that slurs and smears above the foamy beats. Warning Signs has a confetti of sounds that flutter and bluster. An acidic guitar from Brian Glover laces the whole thing together like a patchwork corset.
What The is like a grotesque piece of flayed off skin, flapping in a salty wind. It evokes pain and suffering. But it is so alarming and monstrous that you dare not look away. This is a great piece of musical theatre, and an important moment for DKS.
Tommy Gun Winnie is based upon a picture of Churchill (when he was Home Secretary) holding his machine gun. It is a piece of formidable iconography. Together with the sampled “We shall never surrender…” and a profusion of exquisitely rendered guitars, this is the most rabidly English of all the tracks on the ‘Theory of Karma’ album, and is something that all the British bulldogs around the world, and the Iron Maiden fans in their legions, will no doubt drool for.
Found My Reason breathes painfully, gasping in and out like a heavy chain smoker with the lung crackles. Wheezing and rusty. But without a doubt, this will cause much head-banging on the dance floor.
Hate Time has a series of percussive ticks and a plethora of rummy trickles on guitar. The result is a bit of a messy squiggle. While Terminated has the (almost obligatory) dubby shenanigans going on. A reasonably fierce vocal forks itself at you – like a fiery tongue flashing from the epiglottis of a flamethrower.
The album ends with the massive brute The Ancient. This song wallows in a pit of its own ungodliness. With an overload of flapping carrion crows circling above. And a blaze of guitars below. Vocals on this track are serious. Darker and more menacing than other tracks. This is sooty, demonic and grand.
Each song on this impressive album has a uniquely distinctive quality of its own. The track flow and the ingenious continuity enhance the overall enjoyment of this album. Neurotic, but undeniably exciting.