We've spoken about the Israeli metal scene a few times on the blog and, not in all but in most times, I mentioned that I don't feel a special connection it even though I live here. It's mostly because I think the scene itself lacks identity and isn't sure/honest about what it's best at. And what that might be, you ask? Well, I can give a few answers (we have a pretty good progressive metal scene, for example) but, for my money, alternative metal is what Israel does best. I've already written a bit about my favorite local in the genre, Walkways, and lo and behold, their vocalist, the golden-throated Ran Yerushalmi, guests on the track we're premiering here today.
This track comes to us from Neolia, who are gearing up for their full release on the 5th of May. To be honest, I'd never heard of them and I'm starting to regret that, as the track we have today is excellent. "Karma", accompanied by a beautiful shot somewhere in the deserts of Israel, has that fantastic balance of aggression and melody that I love about alternative metal. At its more frenetic moments, like the excellent transitions from the heavier moments near the end of the track and the more melodic chorus, it reminds me of The Mars Volta, and that is one big compliment.
Elsewhere, Yerushalmi's vocals are expertly utilized to balance the rawer, more harried vocals of the band's own singer, Ben Reiss. Together, they present the major melodic force on the track, while the instruments deliver well written, complex, and undeniable groove. This mix is exactly what alternative metal is so good for, hitting on both the emotional and the visceral level of enjoyment. The track ends up being both interesting to dissect and take apart but also something you can move and sing to.
If the band's self-titled is as good as this, and the other tracks released so far seem to indicate that that is indeed the case, then we're in for a treat. Make sure you head on over to the band's Bandcamp to pre-orer it; I think it's going to be a lot of fun!