Ketha 16 01aRemember a couple years ago when Meshuggah and Diablo Swing Orchestra were going to form a supergroup? Yeah that never actually happened, but it would be a cool idea right? If you already had this idea, part with your money now, because for only €2 (that’s $2.12 for the Atlantically challenged) that sick, avant-garde wet dream can be yours. Earlier this year, a band hailing somehow not from Japan, but from Kraków, released an appropriately enigmatically-named EP that by all rights should have shat all over Angra‘s RoTM position, had anybody on the planet told us about it. But they didn’t. And for that you’ll burn.

Imagine, for a moment, Car Bomb and Shining (you know damn well which one I’m referring to) being played simultaneously. Or, if that’s proving difficult, listen to “K-Boom.” Yeah, that’s a bunch of saxophones and a trumpet. What of it? “Monoceroids” goes on to grab at Leprous‘s claim to the “Best Trumpet Solo in Metal” award and proceeds to get itself one-upped by “The Sounderiad” and its screaming horn comping. Did I mention that all of these songs are around 90 seconds long? Because this EP is fucking nuts. #​!​%​16​.​7 indeed.

Here’s the lay of the land: Ketha made this big 17-minute long song and split it coherently into twelve individual movements based on the time-honored concept of completely shafting your expectations. It’s Catch Thirty-Three but even weirder. Nearly constant groove that was almost certainly obtained by distilling Fredrik Thorendal’s blood propels the album through whatever the opposite of the five stages of grief are. Periodically, attention shifts toward saxophone or trumpet melodies, finger snaps, or a cowbell in the middle distance, always incorporated in some fresh and engaging way that slaps your ass and calls you Sally.

Ketha 16 02

Maciej Janas’s vocals range from disturbed shrieks to a remarkably accurate Tomas Haake-deadpan impression. Haake gets aped in his customary habitat as well, as the other Maciej (Dzik) hammers out grooves and scalpel-precise fills across the guitar and bass maddeningly combating each other. “Crink Crank” shows Ketha prostrating themselves before the church of Meshuggah more deeply than at any other point on the album, but the abrupt ending of “Redshift” assures that they’re no copycat act.

As with any 12-track recording, there’s bound to be some filler and a couple of skippable tracks. Or not. In this case, there’s not a moment wasted and the EP is over far too soon. Which means you’ll play it again. And again. And again. And each time a different song will hit you in the gourd with a gourd, metaphorically speaking.  If by the end of today you have not yet bought #​!​%​16​.​7, know now that I am bound by law and personal conviction to burn your fucking house down. We live in a world where Jørn just released a Dracula concept record, I had to listen to Animi for literally hours, and it’s still legal to sell papayas as if they’re food. The universe is a terrible place. And for a few minutes Ketha nearly made me forget that.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Instant Classic
Release Date: 01.07.2015

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  • Kevin Dillon

    Instant Classic. The best genre of all.

  • Martin Knap

    do I hear a bit of Nergal there? :-P

    • Yes! let’s rekindle this argument!

      J/K, srsly, let’s not.

      • Martin Knap

        just kiddin’ ov course.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    ‘That sick, avant-garde wet dream can be yours.’ Kronos, do you realise how freaking good your writing is? I still read the ”
    A Treatise in Ten Arguments on the Ubiquitous Sphere and its Mystical Origin as a Proof for the Existence of a Malevolent God” article from time to time. I can not stress enough how good your articles are. Why? How? ACK

    And I am definitely checking this one out

    • Lasse Momme

      That is absolutely my favorite Kronos piece to this date. I mean just look at this shit:

      “I have suffered their lashes, their scorn, and their incessant corrections to my spelling and sentence structuring issues, which manifest as vast, malignant neoplasms of unwanted and unnecessarily complex clauses and phrases that tumble over each other like a shambling cohort of necrotic pangolins in a seemingly endless stream of superfluous verbiage contained inside otherwise comprehensible, orthographically and structurally pleasing paragraphs with appropriate references to Ulcerate when such references are necessary for the reader’s comprehension of the described music, or when the author feels he has nothing better to do than remind readers that regular exposure to nihilistic, atmospheric, brutal tech-death has a lasting positive effect on the humors.”

      that’s one single paragraph, motherfuckers.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        That article is my favourite article ever published. Kronos is a force to be reckoned with.

    • Kronos

      If I had blood I’d be blushing. From the most brutal depths of my kvlt, kvlt little heart, I thank you for your kind words.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    After quite a number of reviews of “meh” releases on AMG this year, the staff have been pushing out reviews of great albums over the last little while — Frosthelm, Crimson Swan, Perdition Temple, Alkaloid, Galar, etc. We are truly blessed (forgive, O Satan, but saying “we’re truly cursed” sends the wrong message) this month.

    I just listened to a stream of #​!​%​16​.​7 and it was like, WTF just happened? Great stuff here, but requires more attention than I can give to it at work. I’ll have to listen to it “… again. And again. And again.”

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Yeah its getting a bit out of control…Im about to spend a small fortune on my next trip to the record store…let alone my now completely ridiculous wish list at band camp …good times!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Vietnamese Green Papaya salad is supposed to be good.

    • Kronos

      You’re in on this too?

      Can’t even trust the commenters anymore. Adversaries at every turn for little ol’ Kronos.

  • Is it bad to post the youtube link to the full unedited?

    • Kronos

      I’m sure Ketha would rather you just posted them €2.

  • Wilhelm

    This sounds fucked up, but not in a good, Sigh kind of way. I never liked Mesuggah so maybe that’s part of the reason this doesn’t click.

    • Kronos

      The new Sigh album has high expectations around these parts. Check back with us soon.

      • Who won that thunderdome? I can envision AMG playing the not-so-benevolent-dictator card.

        • Kronos

          Yeah it’s a safe bet I won’t be penning that review.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Sounds great, I love the cubist sphere fractal nightmare artwork too!

  • Icki

    Only €2? So for me thats less than £1.50, which costs less than a pack of cookies and yet lasts about 17 times as long, yaaay!

  • Gonzalo Salazar

    This is awesome.
    While I prefer albums that are way too long, at 17 minutes I’ll be able to use it as my ringtone.

  • Grymm

    This shit is SO GROOVY.

    Love it!

  • Requiem

    This is just… I don’t fangirl over much music. But… *fangirling intensifies*