Kamala – “Eyes of Creation” (2018)
When reviewing a band, a good way to describe their music for people who have never listened to them, is to mention famous groups as the band’s influence, or even compare them directly. Sometimes it is not easy to find the perfect match – especially when a band has formed its own identity after many records, built a great fan base in your local metal scene, and then expanded internationally as Kamala has done. However, if you still want a comparison, I would compare Kamala’s music to Machine Head, Sepultura, and Pantera. But Kamala’ music is more than you think it is – as I will explain (or at least try to).
The Brazilian thrash band Kamala have been on the road for fifteen years. Kamala doesn’t simply play standard thrash metal, they also include oriental music and mantras in their sound. This inspiration comes from the meaning of the band’s name, Kamala, who is a Hindu goddess. Due to some lineup changes, the band currently uses only one guitar player and it has changed the arrangements since the excellent “Mantra” album released in 2015.
This release, “Eyes of Creation” keeps the same core formula from their last album, but the chemistry between Raphael Olmos (singer/guitar) and Allan Malavasi (bass/vocals) has reached a new level. Both guys not only do great instrumental work on the album, but they also share vocals parts using different approaches to complement each other.
The drumstick owner is now Isabela Moraes, who brought different beats and a powerful groove to the mix. The slower cadence that Isabela creates, gives space that improves the guitar work. Another interesting thing about Isabela is her ability to use sudden starts and double kicks that hit you hard when they appear, and how well the bass drum follows Olmos’ guitar riffs.
There isn’t a rhythm guitar behind the solos, which gives the record a live sound overall and Allan’s bass was able to effectively fill these “empty” spaces. Olmos’ wah pedal enhances the sound expertly and doesn’t feel overused. As I already mentioned, the well-done riffs are the highlights on this album, showing that the band studied every single part when composing this album. You won’t hear a riff that sounds out of place – like one used only to finish a song and the title track “Eyes of Creation” (an instrumental that is reminiscent of Metallica’s Orion) demonstrates what I’m saying. Lyrically, the band’s message is ultimately about the question of human existence; the meaning of life; and the daily fights that make people stronger, so we can live a better way.
It’s impossible to not get excited listening to “Stay with Me,” “Open Door,” and “Believe” that are very straight and heavy tunes, which include several different movements inside one song. Even songs like “Purpose of Life” (that feature a Didgeridoo intro) or “Internal Peace” (with a harp intro) are enough to captivate the listener and show that the band can slow down without losing the heaviness on solos and don’t lose speed on the strong riffs.
The impression given to fans (like me) who have known the band for a long time, is that the three musicians are currently living their best inspiration and are making Kamala better day by day.
“Eyes of Creation” is an excellent album and deserves to listen to many times