erkonauts-review

The world is a big place and it contains an insane amount of music. Even when narrowing things down to “just” metal, the sheer variety and volume of releases is staggering. The internet is one of the main tools of a would be explorer of this rich world. And so, through the magic of the world wide web, we bring you The Erkonauts. Immediately after the connection was formed, we rejoiced. While I Did Something Bad includes well known names in the scene, for example one Ales Campanelli from Sybreed, it presents a fresh and youthful approach to many elements in the genre. Blending industrial, heavy metal and many progressive passages, it’s simply an album that has a spring in its step, a certain joie de vivre which is infectious. In short, it will put a smile on your face and isn’t that one of the most important roles of music?

The first two tracks set the stage with odd-bird tempos relying heavily on the bass position for cohesion and gravitas, reminding one of Primus and not for the last time. Also noticeable is the quality of the production, presenting us with a full and rich sound that is often found among industrial releases. The vocals are aggressive and complement the music while echoing Disturbed or Deadsoul Tribe, with their mega-phone like reverb. However, relying on these two tracks in order to characterize the entire album would be a dire mistake. The third track, ‘Nola’, represents a shift in music that is only the first in this album. The track is much faster and together with its brother ‘Dominium Mundi’, channels acts like Motorhead or Metallica to represent the heavier demarcation of the album while preserving the unique role assigned to the bass.

Not pausing for one moment, The Erkonauts have a few more surprises in store for us. ‘Hamster’s Ghosthouse’, while beginning with  sounds similar to the first few tracks, quickly takes a startling turn: smack in the middle of it, the melancholy already somewhat present is given full reign, exploding with hammonds and soaring guitars that trace back to none other than Pink Floyd. The most astonishing fact is that this passage is executed with just as much skill and earnestness as the rest of the album, despite being so different in character. This singular part takes us into ‘Gog’, the next track. While it again returns to heavier roots, it’s much more progressive than the first track and serves as a great companion piece to the previous exploration.

After a small somber stop at the ballad ‘Your Wife’, The Erkonauts are ready to close off this gem of an album. How better to do that than with a track that sets out to remind us that at the end of the day, they’re here to have fun? The last track then is ‘9 Is Better Than 8’, a silly and heavy track that encapsulates this album quite well: skilled musicians all gathered around to celebrate what they, and us, love most: well executed music that’s there to lift your spirits and carry them in all sorts of directions while not forgetting to have fun. I Did Something Bad is an enjoyable and skillful execution of modern metal that manages to remain fresh and engaging throughout.

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The Erkonauts – I Did Something Bad gets…

4/5

-EK

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