Album review: Kardashev – Liminal Rite

Deathgaze masters Kardashev conjure up metal at its most beautiful on second album Liminal Rite.

Album review: Kardashev – Liminal Rite
Dan Slessor

It is extremely rare that a truly unique record comes along, but Kardashev’s second full-length is exactly that. Proponents of ‘deathgaze’, they mix death, black and post-metal, shoegaze and ambient into an intoxicating brew that is muscular and violent while graceful and almost painfully beautiful, reference points showing here and there but impossible to pigeonhole.

The eight minutes of Silvered Shadows is everything wonderful about them encapsulated in a single piece, shot through with blastbeats, coiling riffs and endlessly layered ambience, presided over by the insanely broad vocal range of Mark Garrett. And that’s only the second song – nine more stunning tracks follow, from Apparitions In Candlelight with its aching, repeating chorus, to the poignant hulking sludge of Compost Grave-Song.

An air of tragedy clings to everything, even when Kardashev are lifting you up with a rousing melody, the intro to Cellar Of Ghosts managing to be warm and hopeful yet still melancholy, getting under your skin, the track unfolding sublimely. A spoken-word narrative traces through the record, telling a heartbreaking story, the theme of dementia and the loss of self potent and told unflinchingly. When everything finally culminates with Beyond The Passage Of Embers they throw in some moody saxophone before all comes crashing down, ending on a stridently bleak note.

There really is no overselling how good Liminal Rite is, and how much it stands out from the crowd. This is a record in which to lose yourself. You should get very lost in it, because it keeps getting better.

Rating: 5/5

For fans of: Rolo Tomassi, Deafheaven, Devil Sold His Soul

Liminal Rite is released on June 10 via Metal Blade

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