Death Karma - The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I
Iron Bonehead Productions
Symphonic Metal of Death
6 songs (42'42")
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Alex

I did not do enough required research on Death Karma before putting in their EP The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I to play. So when their powerful saturated symphonic deathly metal music started flowing through my car’s speakers I could not shake off the feeling that I have heard this brand somewhere before. Further looking into the band subsequently revealed that the duo Death Karma shares members, and I'm guessing also studies and sound engineering, with Cult of Fire, another outfit from Czech Republic.

Slovakia – Journey of the Soul opens with an organ driven mass in some Eastern European cathedral. Then the doors close and thunderous beat down begins with soaring guitars driving the exalting orgy. Hoarse shouts contribute trying to break the walls off this building, but ultimately everything floats upward towards the ceiling where Jehovah’s pictures reside. Once I experienced Slovakia, researched the staff and carefully read the compositions titles, I knew the whole EP would be about taking journeys to various far away places and making interpretations through these dense, largely instrumental, death metal visions and their symphonic arrangements. Interestingly enough, Death Karma does not resort to mocking, aping or mercilessly riding the ethnic angles they use for inspiration. Why a certain composition is representing a certain region of the world is up to you to decide. Czech Republic – Umrlici Prkna has an alarmist melody, is rather multifaceted, and eventually finds its way to steadiness with melody carried by the keyboards. Demonic rolls of Madagascar – Famadihana grow into the thrashing groove buttressed by melodic undercurrent.

When ethnic moments make their way into the music they are subtle, yet making a difference. OK, maybe oriental flow and hanging rail percussion in China – Hanging Coffins is pretty obvious, but the melody in India – Towers of Silence next to a rare blasting moment rises into towering, grandiose and triumphant end. Mexico – Chichen Itza presents probably the most tribal moment. Drum rolls prod up an interesting rising loop, going upward towards some sacrificial temple and waiting for explosion, which never comes. Instead the composition collapses into a slow moving double bass driven steamroller with an uplifting melody.

If genre boundaries are absolutely irrelevant to you and complex involved music which makes you think is of interest, by all means Death Karma is worth your attention.

Killing Songs :
Slovakia - Journey of the Soul, Mexico - Chichen Itza
Alex quoted 82 / 100
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