Tuesday 21 June 2016

Kal-El - Ecosphere (Album Review)

Release date: August 22nd 2015. Label: Setalight Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Ecosphere – Tracklisting

01 - Astrogate (00:00)
02 - Shockblast (03:52)
03 - Nexus (06:58)
04 - Warp Rider (11:41)
05 - Citadel (15:09)
06 - Corona Azylum (18:46)
07 - Waldo (23:39)
08 - 7th Sun (25:49)
09 - Starmist (33:44)
10 - Needler (39:26)

Band Members:

Cpt Ulven - Vocals
Roffe - Guitars
Liz - Bass
Bjudas – Drums


Kal-El's second album – Ecosphere – was released in August 2015 and it seems it flew under my radar. I was asked recently to check them out and I was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting something run of the mill. Not a kick-ass album packed full of Stoner Rock grooves with the band offering plenty of Doom based Desert/Blues Rock vibes.

The band excel in creating different atmospheres for each of the songs. I'm sure I can hear influences diverse from bands such as Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Dozer and Uncle Acid but Kal-El add a refreshing Spaced Out Sci-fi twist. Kal-El offer a bleak alternative stoner rock outlook on life especially on tracks such as Shockblast and Warp Rider.

The instrumental work is one of the albums strengths as Kal-El offer a different sound for each of the 10 songs on the album. That's a very hard thing to do but Kal-El pull this off with style and conviction. Kal-El's stock has been rising considerably within the Stoner Metal world recently and it's not hard to see why. They've written a collection of excellent songs that will appeal to the vast majority of Doom/Stoner Metal fans.

If you miss the early days of Monster Magnet where Dave, Ed and company were more about the spaced out vibes and hard rock riffs then Kal-El are the band for you. Ecosphere feels like a long lost 1990's Monster Magnet album that was never released. The final 4 songs on the album Waldo, 7th Sun, Starmist and Needler are perhaps the albums most exciting moments as Kal-El play the albums heaviest riffs that will leave you in a daze.

I've only seen a few reviews of this album so far and that's a damn shame as Ecosphere is quite the Stoner Metal album experience. It's packed full of twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The band have done themselves proud here. If I heard this album last year I would have put this in my best albums of 2015. It's simply that good.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe