Kartikeya - Mahayuga
Label: Grailight Productions
Reviewer: Tiphany Matai - 2012-09-05
Highlights: I simply recommend listening to the whole album.
[Translated By: Salma ben Rached]
The God of war returns!
Get out the violins, flutes, sitars and drums of war! Prepare your mantras, your magic stones and traditional outfit of prayer and struggle. It is time to worship the god's return Kartikeya and the emergence of the creator god Brahma thanks to this album called « Mahayuga ».
In Hindu cosmogony, Mahayuga corresponds to all four ages of the world. And it is this theme that Eastern mysticism and focus of the Russian of Kartikeya. After "The Battle Begins" released in 2008 outlining the conquests and battles of this particular Hindu God, the sextet decided to proove stronger by signing with the label Grailight Productions and arming themselves with an inimitable concept and traditional instruments typically oriental. Not surprisingly, this time, the vice Muscovites push through on the originality of their music. Here is a summary of modern brutal death at the ethnic and oriental sauce. But unlike the previous album, it’s in a more far folk, « Mahayuga » He introduces us to a more pronounced symphonic side, which coupled with war drums and traditional chanting, what makes it even more epic and warrior like.
Of course they are not the first to officiate in a death tinted with Eastern elements and ethnic. We already know Nile, Orphaned Land or Behemoth (« Demigod »). Add to that some influences Melechesh and experimentation of Senmuth and you will know more or less how to situate the ensemble of KARTIKEYA. As for the Hindu theme, it is totally new.
The album, that lasts over seventy minutes, is a kind of initiatory trip to India next six talented musicians, arriving brilliantly to embark in these mystical lands and spiritual. The whole is divided into stages and events, as if they told us a story. The traditional ethnic introduction instruments are a kind of prologue: it sets the scene and the atmosphere, before we start for good in the first metallic chapter and aggressive with a « He Who Carries the Head of Brahma » which intermingles devlish riffs, guttural voice and folk element all in once very beautifully. No rest until a more atmospheric end of mantras which are recited, in the style of Rudra on their trilogy
« Brahmavidya ».
If "The Path" was with a more melodic chorus and a haunting clear voice where keyboards overlap in the style of a "Holographic Universe" by Scar Symmetry,"Fields of Kurukshetra" (a battlefield), as for now, these already heard effective riffs are no gift, these drums of war, these flutes and especially this duet between the growl of Mars and the black singing of Kathir of Rudra as a guest.
After an introduction sang in Sanskrit language, « Surya Jayanti » sends us his big death alternating brutality and melody, and with these instruments and keyboards typically in the background. It is clear that the multi-instrumentalist Arsafes have put out his heart into each song, because nothing is synthetic, Sieur takes care of all ethnic instruments, and the outro of « Surya Jayanti » and the instrumental tracks scattered across the album only can prove his talent further.
The forty nine minutes of "Utpavana" reveals a breathtaking and epic side show, despite its length consequent. The orchestrations are treated as well as the parts put more and more brutal parts. While the riffs are repetitive, the fresco is superb and the keyboards are powerful (Maybe too much), end up with a terrible blast beats. The initiatory journey ends with the presentation of the four ages of the world on four tracks without cuts. Mahayuga!
If "Satya Yuga" (Golden Age) offers us something very spiritualand ambient, although it’s long, "Treta Yuga" (the Silver Age) arrives to give us a symphonic ensemble, helped by crushing guitars. "Dvapara Yuga" (Bronze Age) as alternates the good death metal parts as more indulging or more parts where folk found warm female vocals. We find again the atmosphere of the previous installment of this title, before moving on to the amazing "Kali Yuga" (Iron Age) much darker and even more death / black sauce Aeternam.
Of couse, Kartikeya hasn’t forgotten to astonish us, like in « The Battle Begins ». Remember, the Russians had built in a hidden track cover of "Babylon" by Soulfly. Here, even more suprisingly, we have the right to Shakira with his "Eyes Like Yours"! The Folk and eastern parts are essentially remained the same, on the other side everything turns into death, therefore the rhythmic was entirely changed,, for our greatest delight! Clear vocals, choirs, growls, Monster riffs and catchy melody ...the result is truly stunning!
The bet was daring but Kartikeya has pulled it off by giving us an album decisively original, warm and oriental, though it’s still not matching up Nile and others. Nevertheless, we delight in this very well produced and beautifully designed album, each page of the booklet containing the steps to cross, and, thanks to the brushstrokes of Mstibog deflect art. Here is perhaps a good compromise for the folk metalheads having difficulty with the pure and hard death metal.
*Posted as part of our partnership with Tiphany Mataï, reviewer from the French Spirit of Metal Webzine. Original French review can be seen over here.