Kalki Avatara - Mantra For The End Of Times
Shaytan Productions
Experimental Symphonic Metal
4 songs (20:54)
Release year: 2009
Shaytan Productions
Reviewed by Goat

A side-project of Aborym/Malfeitor guitarist Paolo ‘Hell-I0-Kabbalus’ Pieri, Kalki Avatara is a hard project to sum up. Heavily symphonic, with clear ethnic folk influences it nonetheless has a Metal presence; it reminded me most of Ihsahn’s Peccatum project in its early days with a greater folk influence and a dash of Moonspell for good measure. There are similarities with recent work from Aborym, of course, but don’t come looking for Industrial Metal, as this is far from it. Paolo has an intriguingly hysterical screech, mixed with almost Gothic muttering, and he uses both sparingly, preferring to let the music do the speaking, with mixed results. Of the four songs here, all tend to open strongly and then meander until they end disappointingly vague – take opener Mankind Collapse as an example, violins and piano setting an ominous mood before distorted guitars and synthesized orchestration kicks off, choir-like voices joining and Paolo’s harsh vocals spoiling the effect somewhat, before it switches back to the choirs.

It’d be an error to call this, or any of the four pieces on this EP, a song, as although easy to listen to and very interesting at times, there’s nothing catchy about it. The tracks just seem to amble along, holding your attention but never really going anywhere, despite the variations between each – Ruins Of Kali Yuga moves between oppressive percussion and progressive keyboards, for example, with Purification having more riffs. Awaiting The Golden Age, the last track present, is probably be the highlight, featuring Paolo’s Aborym bandmate Malfeitor Fabban on vocals and is nicely atmospheric in a way that will appeal to many.

Undoubtedly skilful in design (drums are provided by former Fleshgod Apocalypse skinbeater Aeshla, with Hour Of Penance bassist Nighthorn present as well) Mantra For The End Of Times is an interesting piece of music, but I do think that Kalki Avatara’s style is more suited to longer tracks than these four-five minute pieces. It’s certainly worthy of a hearing from all, however, yet for me whilst this may well bear fruit in the future it’s a little too meandering and aimless at present to recommend very highly. However, for an initial EP this is excellent, and those looking for something new and different whilst we wait for a new Aborym album will find an intriguingly experimental experience here – the entire EP is available to hear via the MySpace link below, along with a newer, self-released EP.

Killing Songs :
Mankind Collapse, Awaiting The Golden Age
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