Thursday, 19 June 2014

Extreme Thursday Presents: Hyperial and Karkaos

After last Thursday's little foray into a more varied format, it seemed fitting to present a couple more bands for your perusal that I came across while idling away a quiet Thursday afternoon on Bandcamp.

Quite a distinctive pair of bands, we have a melodic death metal band and a blackened death/industrial outfit from almost opposite sides of the globe; Montreal's Karkaos and Hyperial from Dobre Miasto, Poland. Each of these bands has only an EP and a single full length to their name, but each have proven themselves with quality, style and high production values. There are even a few videos to enjoy.


Hyperial were formed in Poland in 2006 with the intention of making diverse, eclectic metal. Combining influences from many forms of extreme and industrial metal, they set out to defy expectations by making riff-laden, groove based metal that incorporates the best of all worlds. Mixing black metal riffs, death metal vocals, progressive and melodic instrumentation and effects with synths and electronic elements, it's can certainly be described as eclectic.

Hyperial have had a pretty stable line-up since the band's inception in 2006, losing only 2 drummers in that time. Formed by current members Kamil Grochowski on guitar and vocal, Konrad Kulesza on guitar, Artur Miarka on bass and Aneta Pawtel on keyboards and samples. Drummer Przemysław Bednarczyk joined in 2011.

After a 2 track demo in 2007, The Eternal Paradise of the Illusion, Hyperial set out to create a full length record. This record came in the form of Sceptical Vision in 2010, released on Psycho records. Being simultaneously a heavy, chugging behemoth and a strangely progressive, oddly confused mix of synths, keys and samples, it's certainly got a unique character.

Sceptical Vision was well received and paved the way for further experimentation, further honing of the band's signature sound. This culminated in an EP release in 2011; Industry. A very apt name for the record, as it demonstrates both the band's hard work and effort, and is heavier, harder hitting and more complex than its predecessor.

Despite being unavailable in its original form, Hyperial's demo is available for your listening pleasure as a rerecorded track on Industry. The Eternal Paradise of the Illusion is the last track of Industry, and very good too.

Industry was a self-release, having parted company with Psycho Records. While searching for a label for the next record and, indeed, for Industry, Hyperial are touring in support of their refined sound. No news yet of this second album, but hopefully it won't be too long.

Karkaos is a melodic death metal band from Montreal. Formed in 2003 under the moniker Sinister Vengeance by Vincent Harnois, the band lay pretty dormant for six years. In 2009, with a name change and a more permanent lineup, Karkaos was born. At that point Harnois took on vocal duties, but nothing was released before recruiting Veronica Rodriguez in

Karkaos released its first EP, In Burning Skies, in October of 2010, including their first music video. The band's sound is largely straight up melodeath with clean, harsh and growled vocals. There are elements, though, of power metal, symphonic metal and the occasional touch of folk.

A couple of lineup changes later, in 2013, Karkaos returned to the studio to start on their debut album. A video for the first single from the new album, Depths Of Madness, was recorded in late 2013 and released in the December. The recording lineup for Empire had Veronia Rodriguez on vocals, Vincent Harnois and Francis Tremblay on guitar, Eddy Levitsky on bass, Sebastien Belanger-Lapierre on keyboards and Normand Martel on drum. Shortly after recording completed Francis Tremblay parted ways with Karkaos and Samael Pelletier took his place.

Karkaos released their debut album, Empire, in March 2014, along with a new video for the title track. The band certainly upped their game for the album and the results speak for themselves. Veronica's varied vocal styles and the top notch melodic death riffage make for a distinctive sound in a genre that is easy to get lost in. Pulling in so many other elements, playing hard and fast and contrasting with slower, sadder pieces gives the band's music and gives them the space to explore a wider range of topics than many melodeath bands. The album culminates in an 8 minute melo-power-symphonic-death metal track called Eden that pulls together everything Karkaos are about.