Madder music and lyrics by Hertz Kankarok. Mad arrangements by Andrea Cavallaro, except for ‘The Great Whirlpool’ insanely arranged by Dario Laletta. Logo by Christophe Szpajdel. Cover by Gianlorenzo Di Mauro. Photography by Santo Barbera. Layout by Azmeroth Szandor.
Recorded somewhere in Sicily between Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, CE 2017. Produced and mixed in total madness by Dario Laletta at SiNe Studios in Acireale, Italy, 2017-2018. Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Engineering in Portland, USA, April 2018.
Independently released on Bandcamp on Sunday 13 May 2018
Making Madder Music (2018) is the debut album (and second musical effort) from this Sicilian experimental solo project from Hertz Kankarok.
This is another of those albums that got lost at the bottom of my review backlog. And this has been the craziest of weeks at work and home. So, with matchsticks propping my eyes open, let’s dive in and to save time, I’m grabbing some of the press release on my way through.
“What music appeals to in us is difficult to know; what we do know is that music reaches a zone so deep that madness itself cannot penetrate there.” — E.M. Cioran
“Being who we are, we have no other solution to life than making madder music,” says Kankarok.
Two years and a half after the release of the debut EP Livores (2015), the Italian experimental solo project Hertz Kankarok reappears from the darkness with a new opus entitled Make Madder Music (2018). Four songs, more than 34 minutes of oppressive, slow and pitch-dark extreme metal that can hardly be labelled, where death-thrash flirts with gothic and doom takes a pinch of avant-garde, all of that enveloped in horror atmospheres and epic theatricality.
In Hertz Kankarok’s words, “The songs sound really great to our ears, they are very diverse in terms of moods, styles, atmospheres, but still coherent and absolutely Hertz Kankarok’s. They deal with some of the big human interrogatives – religion, identity, life and death. Being who we are, we have no other solution to life than making madder music.”
They sound great to my ears too. There is a majestic quality to these long, progressive-sounding tracks.
“Deceive yourself” (track 1) features a stop-start motif throughout. “Cargo cult” (track 2) has quite a Meshuggah feel in its old time signatures and ponderous arpeggios. The half-spoken vocals fight for dominance with a more gruff bark. Madness indeed.
“Who is next?” (track 3) opens like the incidental music to a horror film—I don’t really watch that many horror films, so I could be wrong. It’s eerie and haunting. A dirge with marvellous soaring vocals.
“The great whirlpool” (track 4), the longest track, closes the album with a mid-tempo, upbeat driving track that pumps its way through the intro into a faster thrash-out.
Overall, I have really enjoyed listening to this album filled with quite an eclectic mix of styles and tempos. It is definitely one of those albums that demanded my attention. I couldn’t just listen to it in the background while doing something else… If you are into your avant-garde gothic metal, definitely check this out.
Review score: 70%
Hertz Kankarok himself contacted me inviting me to preview his debut album, thank you. I have no connections to Hertz Kankarok. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Hertz Kankarok for continuing to create fresh, exciting new music.