Kashmar is a Finnish band that's hard to categorize. This is their debut full-length album, prior to which they've released some demos and a tasty split 7" with Total Vomit Experience. This album is available as an ecopack-CD with lyrics only to the title track, and on tape and vinyl with all the lyrics included. I think the album's bonus songs (which are at least on the CD-version) from the band's demo-period were rather unnecessary, although they're perhaps the most easily understandable and/or enjoyed pieces of music on the whole album.

Shortly said, Kashmar plays angry music with a lot of tempo-changes and tortured lyrics in English and Russian. The songs range from crusty stoner to discordy and rough post-hardcore that has some catchy moments, but generally the songs are more about anguish, wrath and dark moods than any form of likeability. The album's production is nicely rough and just a tad muddy which does wonders for the gloomy atmosphere, but perhaps a hint sharper sounds would've helped the songs to open up will less struggle. Then again, that might be something the band's avoiding.

The promotional sheet describes the album as a "trip to a personal hell," and I could agree to it; it sounds dark and merciless, and mixes brute primitivism with genuine effort and compositional vision. It's rough and rather nasty, but in a manner that makes it at least sound and feel like something more than a mere gimmick. Genuine.

The autumn is getting bleaker and darker, which is the perfect season for listening to music such as this. I find this album hard to grade due to its introverted character, but I'll say this: if you like music that is rough, dark, wrathful and desperate, there's a fair chance you'll appreciate this monster of a creation. There's no hit songs nor easy likeability, so it might suit people who enjoy challenges, too.

I'm intriqued to hear more from this band to see where they'll take their expression next. It's a slim chance, but perhaps I'll understand their next creation better.

7+ / 10