As of late, a lot of great underrated metal has been springing up out of Italy. One such group by the name of Kalahari declare themselves progenitors of “The True Italian Metal”, a bold claim that can only be backed up with a relentless yet tasteful and distinct approach to pure sonic ferocity. As it turns out, Kalahari provides much merit to this claim with their latest EP Theia, a mere 5 track release that is nevertheless driving, potent and varied from end to end. The opener track “Theia” strikes a crucial balance between brutal and progressive; a hammering number equal parts Slipknot and Dream Theater.
“Followers Of The Lich” comes next, travelling more in the pure vein of old school heavy metal than any cleverly concocted hybrid. “Zombie Night” sees some of this true-to-the-script dynamic continue, though the old end of it is closer to the likes of Death and the newer aspect of it treads nearer to thrash torchbearers like Revocation- a wonderfully brutal cocktail if ever there was one, though the presumably intentionally key-deaf guitar solo would have achieved far greater tastiness by towing the melodic line. “I Am The Mountain” coalesces around a deep, introspective acoustic backbone that blossoms into an electrified epic; in combination with the Hetfield-y vocals it sounds like a mesh of “The Unforgiven” (I, II or III) and Obscura’s “Septuagint”. At last comes “Cabled Core”, a groove metal jam with a traditional tinge, trafficking in enough heaviness and harmony to bring the EP to an appropriate, colourful end.
For a short EP, Theia packs a significant punch and provides all manner of twists and turns to go along with the solid, fiery foundation it is built upon. Kalahari as a result prove themselves to be a great potential force in a country where, besides Fleshgod Apocalypse, not too many notable names have emerged into the forefront of metal. Perhaps Kalahari will be next among those names, and if they keep delivering projects like this one and improving further on their craft, that possibility will eventually graduate into a certainty.