KrashKarma: “Paint The Devil”
How the hell does a duo even think they might stand a chance in the expanse of what seems to be a sea of hard rock? Are they bat-shit crazy? I mean with the ever growing music factory churning out bands in this genre, the idea of such a thing is ludicrous at best. Well, the band KrashKarma might just be showing their old band members and the industry their own version of cosmic retribution.
KrashKarma has an interesting story to say the least; so if you aren’t in the know, I need to give you a brief background. This band looked like they were poised to make a name for themselves in the ever bland segment of mainstream hard rock, but the bottom seemed to drop out from under them. They were cruising along under the moniker Suicide Holiday and gaining some speed in the L.A. music scene, and even grabbed attention from the Fox Sports NFL Network to produce a song of the week, a top 100 ranking of unsigned bands on Music Choice, and various accolades at the end of the last decade. Stuff like that is big exposure for a band trying to gain traction in the world of nonexistent labels and lackluster recording sales. The band decided to change its name to the now KrashKarma in order to seem more approachable. This is when things seem to have gotten a bit interesting.
Just before the name swap, the lead guitar and bassist at the time decided to part ways due to “creative differences” leaving founding members Ralf Dietel (vox/guitar) and Niki Skistimas (vox/drums) to pick up more suited replacements. Since then the details of what makes up this band are spotty at best. They are listed as hailing from Hollywood, CA and Germany simultaneously and there seems to be no permanent line up beside vox and drums. Bands don’t usually shave off members, but rather add on to the fold to increase the sound. That just wasn’t what KrashKarma needed. They needed to focus and find themselves and what they came up with was a pair. As they have stated, they are the White Stripes of Heavy Metal.
KrashKarma has previously released 2 albums, “Straight to the Blood” and “Seven Deadly Sounds.” They never seemed to achieve the vision they were striving for though, but I am not here to talk about the past offerings, I am here to focus on this mysterious enigma of a band’s just released album “Paint The Devil.”
This new album is really the end result of a 2 year tour and a labor of love trying to hit that note of expression, regardless of what society paints for us as a picture. Yes, touring a new album before the album is recorded is a bit unusual, but it seems to have worked. The content of the album though is very well put together and complex, with layering that can hardly be expected from a two-piece. Ralf suggested that his “rig from hell” is a good part of that. You would assume that there is a multi-piece group in this offering. Clearly production and engineering was working at a higher level on this. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just an exercise in technical trickery. This duo crush it hard lyrically. The track “Sacrifice” is haunting and dark without being to depressively melancholy. The overall tone seems to be rather a hindsight packed aggression. This isn’t too surprising if you have heard the previous album, because “Paint The Devil” is a level or two heavier. Now, the track “Save Me” and “Closer” seem to be reaching out for something. Ralf and Niki straining to obtain something. You can almost feel the tension. Is this pair getting ready to snap creatively? It appears something is coming, something big!
They always say that you need to shed the dead weight to move forward. The band KrashKarma is doing just that. The more they pull into themselves and let go of the unnecessary bits for the group, the more complex their outcome. The music is truly showing a massive progression through letting go of the dead skin of the past.
For more information on KrashKarma and the new album “Paint The Devil:”
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