Sunday 19 May 2024

Kalgon - Kalgon (Album Review)

Release Date: May 23rd 2024. Record Label: Evil Noise Recordings. Formats: Cassette/DD

Kalgon - Kalgon: Tracklisting

1.The Isolate 

2.Grade Of The Slope 

3.Apocalyptic Meiosis

4.Interlude (Windigo Refrain)


6.Eye Of The Needle

7.Setting Sun

Band Members

Brandon Davis: Guitar and Vocal

Berten Lee Tanner: Bass and Vocal

Marc Russo: Drums


Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metallers Kalgon self-titled debut album is one that specialises in low-end riffage and raw sounding Progressive melodies with a Sludge/Thrash Metal outlook that allows the over-the-top story to progress at a thrilling fast pace. The album is about a space fungus that crash lands on Earth from Space and starts to take over and colonise the minds of humanity by controlling them to reformulate the atmosphere of Earth for warmer, more favorable conditions and more methane for the hivemind parasitic space fungus. 

You have to give credit to Kalgon for giving such an outlandish premise a touch of warmth and human emotion with some of the Post-Stoner and Post-Doom surroundings that appear on the record. However, Kalgon play a thrilling style of Down-tuned Doom/Sludge Metal with aggressive grooves and raw sounding vocals to match. The whole production of the album is raw and minimalistic which feels like a true debut album with a band not aiming for perfection but playing the best music they can possibly play.

The opening two tracks of The Isolate and Grade Of The Slope allows Kalgon to set down the rules of their LOW & SLOW world with moments of down-tuned Sludge grooves merging with strands of Punk, Thrash, Blues Rock and their main weapon of Heavy Psychedelic Doomed Out Stoner Metal. Both songs allow the muscular rhythm section of Berten Lee Tanner and Marc Russo on Bass and Drums respectively to play at a slow-to-mid pace with Brandon Davis playing the more destructive guitars which all combine for a subtle blast of atmospheric sounds. Taking cues from bands such as SLEEP, High On Fire, Monolord and CONAN for the most part. Kalgon employs their own style of epic mythology within their lyrics and some impressive guitar solos along the way.

The album continues with the lo-fi surroundings with a more Thrash paced outlook on the excellent third track Apocalyptic Meiosis which has a slight Mastodon storytelling influence and how they combine the different musical strands for a fast-paced Thrash/Punk Rock sound which gives more nuanced energy to the overall story of the album. This is perhaps the real turning point for Kalgon on a pure creative level. As everything becomes more real with the story and that’s down to the great lyrics, vocal performances and subtle melodic energy which all comes together within the few minutes that the song lasts for.

Fourth track Interlude (Windigo Refrain) is a stripped back Psychedelic track with Droned rhythms and Post-Rock sounds that offer a cold sounding track which feels powered by long drawn out synths that does have a dramatic Science Fiction sound.

The final three tracks of Windigo, Eye Of The Needle and Setting Sun is the best part of the album and where the heaviest and most interesting sounds that appear on the record. As Kalgon takes the “LOW & SLOW” sound to more aggressive and emotional levels with the Psychedelic and Droned Out elements becoming more dominant with some subtle Blues Rock energy appearing within Windigo and Eye Of The Needle. There’s a certain 1970’s Psych Rock and Space Rock sensibility that allows Kalgon to become more Science Fiction obsessed with the music once again being thoroughly modern at the same time.

The final track of Setting Sun is where the record becomes its most emotional, uplifting and absolutely devastating with Kalgon resolving all the loose ends of their creative journey with a therapeutic style of Post-Rock, Psych Rock and Sludge Metal with a distracting Drone Rock score. This is quite rewarding to hear especially with the fantastic vocals laying out a slightly dystopian and nightmarish quality to them. You’re probably thinking where the “uplifting” vibe is coming from that I mentioned earlier. Well, that’s down to the wonderful melody and tone of the track which was quite therapeutic for myself to hear.

Kalgon’s debut album is another great album from the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with the ultimate WOW factor which a lot of great bands have been appearing recently such as CLEEN, Ape Vermin, HASHTRONAUT and Lungburner who all play a subtle LO-FI raw-sounding energy that gives the standard Doom/Stoner Metal sound a more adventurous approach. 

I’m hoping that Kalgon builds up a well-deserved reputation within the scene. This album is a highly original record that offers intense grooves to match. This is another great album being added to my Album Of The Year list which I can see being added to quite a few more folks lists before the year is out.

Outstanding. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Desert Bloom PR for the promo.

Kalgon self-titled release will be available to buy on DD/Cassette via Evil Noise Recordings from Thursday 23rd May 2024.


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