Keverra are a Los Angeles-based trio that formed in 2018 and consist of Mateo Pinkerton (ex – 16) on drums, bassist Scott Renner (Goatsnake) and Kurk Stevens (Mayan Bull) on Guitar/Vocals/Noise.
The album cover contains what looks to be poisonous snakes, thus promising a venomous attack, if you will excuse the pun. This is the band’s debut album which is due out on 1st May 2020 and produced by Sanford Parker who has worked with Mirrors for Psychic Warfare of whom he is also a member, along with Neurosis’ Scott Kelly. The band are signed to Seeing Red Records whose roster, Temple of the Fuzz Witch aside, I must admit to not being particularly familiar with, yet.
The album starts off with what sounds like footsteps before leading onto opener Albion. The track is decent sludge metal with harsh vocals that remind me of a slower Black Cobra mixed in with the density of Neurosis. This is followed by Incendiare which is the Latin for to set fire to. It’s an Industrial sounding interlude of around 43 seconds which leads onto the longest track Bathsheba, who according to the Hebrew bible was the wife of King David. The track retains the heaviness yet injects a post-metal progressive vibe into the proceedings, and the biblical theme may account for the black metal influenced sludge sound. This is an intriguing track which takes a couple of listens to fully engage with due to some of the dizzying time signatures. Next is another interlude which, as with Incendiare, demonstrates Stevens ambient noise roots via his project Mayan Bull.
We reach halfway through the album and hit Tioga which has some nice chunky doom style riffs and a less tortured vocal style. Bitter Air Of Exile is another instrumental interlude which sounds like exactly what it says on the tin to quote Ronseal (a brand of wood preserver for our non-UK readership), a spooky wind sweeps by us for over two and a half minutes before hitting us with Object To Be Destroyed. The vocals are buried quite deeply in the mix and the band’s noise rock influences are more prominent, if you like early Today Is The Day you may get a big kick out of this one, and seeing as I do, this track definitely hits the mark for me.
The album’s frequent interludes, progressive post-metal and noise rock influences show the album to be more than just your run of the mill sludge metal…
We reach the last of the instrumental pieces Funerary which, as its name suggests, is suitably bleak. Penultimate track No God has a riff which reminds me of the Melvins at their most grandiose and over the top, it’s possibly the silliest track on the album but certainly the most fun. Final number Black Tie Event is a title that reminds me of the kind Oxbow would use and funnily enough that band’s sound also infiltrates the track.
Some of the reviews I’ve read have described the album as ‘Shockingly aggressive, heavy as balls, and vicious to the core’ and ‘This is not an album for the weak. It cuts and crushes at the same time’, both descriptions are overstatements to say the least.
Yes, the album has its fair share of aggression, heaviness and darkness but there is also a lot more subtlety than either of those reviews give it credit for. The album’s frequent interludes, progressive post-metal and noise rock influences show the album to be more than just your run of the mill sludge metal and therefore anyone expecting an endless blast of musical fury may be left a little disappointed and bewildered as a result.
Scribed by: Reza Mills