Calamity – Kairos (Self-Released)

Monday, 13th May 2019
Rating: 8/10

Considering the origins of this Puerto Rico thrash act contain references to bands like Slayer and Metallica (being a cover band of the latter called Silent Screams of the former), curiosity abounds as to why the second album from the group is called Kairos – the same title of an album from Sepultura back in 2011. Actively spreading their music through a couple of US tours during 2015-2016 and performing at Full Terror Assault in Illinois in 2018, it’s obvious the quartet stride confidently into their addictive, forceful brand of music – incorporating a few Spanish language tracks that speaks to their multi-cultural heritage and broad-based appeal.

These musicians excel at placing the right guitar melodies and harmonies in all the appropriate spots instrumentally to pin ears and keep interest level on high – even as the band come out all guns blazing in speed and intensity for opener “Killer Vibes”. Many aspects of 80’s-period Metallica appear in “Guerreros” – from the raspy rapid-fire Hetfield-like vocal patterns of guitarist Berny Santos to similar riff/transition combinations that rival the best of “Eye of the Beholder”/ “Creeping Death”, even as the flange effects and diverse drum switch-ups take place. The lead breaks contain shred/traditional lineage, equal to the energetic riff bursts and often adding that extra hook factor even when a slightly commercial chorus to “The Truth” appears – Berny switching up vocals in English and Spanish seamlessly. Not everything is an all-out speed thrash assault – “The Change” opens with some killer clean guitar interplay from Gonzalo Ortiz and Berny Santos, allowing bassist Fernando Rivera to weave some progressive lines into the mix to make for an intricate roller-coaster atmosphere that is dynamic for its musicianship qualities. An added bonus takes shape for the ballad “El Vacio” – Berny taking a bold risk through his clean melodies, very robust and comfortable to glide up and down in register and hopefully something Calamity continues to explore on future recordings.

Calamity place themselves in more of the slightly musically advanced thrash class – properly constructing catchy arrangements while serving up some heady riffs and hooks. Kairos will get the pits moving, stage divers launching as these gentlemen rip it up, and should be ideal for people into Metallica, Znowhite, Heathen, and the much-missed Puerto Rico originators Cardinal Sin.

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