KISHI is an Extreme Metal trio out of Luanda, Angola. They formed in 2017 and […]
March 6, 2023
Kishi - Khaos album cover

KISHI is an Extreme Metal trio out of Luanda, Angola. They formed in 2017 and released their debut full-length, "Depois da Meia Noite" (trans: after midnight), one year later in 2018. Like many bands, KISHI went on a hiatus during the year of our plague as well as the following year. On February 17, 2023, the band returned with their sophomore album, "Khaos." While the band's first album was very much a Stoner/Doom endeavor, "Khaos" is . . . well, much more chaotic in its approach, taking on overtones of Death and Thrash.

"Khaos" is an EP, comprising five tracks and clocking out at just about 17 minutes. These are short, to-the-point tracks, heavy on the distortion and light on finesse. If you were to map the trajectory from the last album to this one, you definitely wouldn't get a linear progression. The leap in styles is fairly significant, which gives the impression that this band is still evolving-and not by slight degrees. Of the two variations, I think I find the band that showed up on "Khaos" more authentic. The album sounds more primal and connected to the land. With that said, let's pin down some basics about this land we call Angola.

Angola is an enclave state, that is, it's surrounded on three sides by the territories of other states and the fourth by an ocean. So, some inherent tension there. Further, throughout its history, Angola was subjected to western intrusions and an uneasy Portuguese colonization. It wasn't until 1975 that Angola achieved independence, which immediately led to civil war. After 30 years of more strife, the country finally found relative stability in 2005. In addition to its history of political unrest, Angola is a resource rich country (mineral and hydrocarbons) which attracts plenty of foreign trade and investors. Political turmoil plus high resources typically result in large class divisions and rampant corruption. All which is to say, music connected to the land of Angola is going to be more akin to the South American Metal scene than to the Western European or American Doom scenes.

It shouldn't be a surprise then to find that "Khaos" centers on the brutal, from the opening track, "69 Feiticeiros e 14 Bruxas" (trans: 69 wizards and 14 witches) which is steeped in Angolan lore and its more recent history of witchcraft paranoia to the final track, "Mona Caxito" which vividly depicts the senselessness and inhumaneness of civil war. Corruption is the theme of "Pornographic Strategy" and "Dead Lost Rumbled" addresses the ravages of both war and corruption. And for those looking for a straight-up Thrash/Death, "Kill The Beast While It's Wounded" can be taken as literal or metaphoric as you want it. So, yeah, "Khaos," feels like an authentic reaction to/reflection of the ecosystem from which it emerged.

Musically, my go to track is "Mona Caxito." Of all the five tracks, it has that sweet combination of rhythm and viscera. Even without knowing Portuguese, you'll be compelled to sing, or mosh, along. Next up on my list is "69 Feiticeiros e 14 Bruxas" for both its theme and execution. "Dead Lost Rumbled" remains top of mind for me as well, but I can't tell if it is for its of rights or it's fleeting reminiscence of SLAYER's "Dead Skin Mask."

I have to admit my music collection is probably overly skewed to the West. It's refreshing to add a new region to my catalogue. The range of KISHI from their debut album to their recent album is extensive. It's hard to say at this point if the band is looking for their voice or if they are multiphasic. Either way, "Khaos" is a worth a listen if not for the legacy from which it was born than for the act of rebellion it spews.

7 / 10









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"Khaos" Track-listing:

1. 69 Feiticeiros e 14 Bruxas
2. Dead Lost Rumbled
3. Kill the Beast While It's Wounded
4. Pornographic Strategy
5. Mona Caxito

Kishi Lineup:

Hugo Domingos - Bass
Bruno Braz - Guitars
Mankav - Vocals

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