Published Jun 20, 2019Contrary to what many might think, there is an aesthetic to noise. The unrefined and jagged edges of sound can, when utilized with deliberate intention, result in a sheen of vitriol that complements its music. But noise and garbage production are akin to radioactive material, and can easily backfire.
Such is the case with Kapala's second EP, Termination Apex, which suffers from both a misuse of noisy production, as well as struggling instrumentation that the former fails to obscure.
The brooding start to "Martial Dominance" promises an imminent explosion of bestial thunder, which swiftly takes hold, but to a lesser effect than intended. The drum mixing is Termination Apex is like a weight on the whole of the EP. The snare is so overwhelmingly loud that it tends to drown out the majority of the other instruments. The other drums also seem exceedingly underplayed, to the point of certain fills going unregistered, thus resulting in an apparent loss of structure amidst Kapala's chaotic playing. The riffs are mostly lost beneath the mismatch of levels, which is a shame, since the guitar and bass, as in the opening of "Moral Attrition," sound properly grotesque.
Despite the glaring shortcomings, Kapala can still exact moments of apocalyptic audio hell, especially with vocals, which might be the strongest factor on the EP, as well as moments of well-executed disorientation and brutality. But these cannot outweigh the frustrating ailments that plague it. (Dunkelheit Produktionen)