Kardashev have an unusual sound that consists of a mixture of shoegaze and deathcore, to which elements of black, progressive, atmospheric, and post-metal have been added. This is then all rolled into an atypical contemporary package that lasts 60 minutes. Post-deathcore, maybe? Either that, or deathgaze, as the band style themselves.
Imagine Thy Art Is Murder if their songs were expanded with elements of bands like Alcest, The Contortionist, Ne Obliviscaris, Fallujah, Sleep Token, and Rivers of Nihil, and you’ll have a rough, (if probably somewhat misleading), idea of what Liminal Rite sounds like.
The songs are frequently lengthy and cover a range of different ground, from ambient reflection to thundering deathcore, from post-metal introspection to blackened atmospheric density, from delicate bright shoegaze to brick-heavy brutality. Regardless of what Kardashev are doing at any given moment, emotion is baked into the band’s sound. It’s the prime mover that everything else here is based on. The crushing heaviness is laced with feeling, while the more atmospheric and melodic parts are dripping with the stuff. The songs are well-crafted to take advantage of this, emphasising the richness and depth of composition, without losing that direct appeal aggression.
Like the rest of the music, the singer has great range. From massive roars, piercing screams, and deep growls, to soaring cleans, his voice is as impressive as it is well-performed.
The band’s merging of deathcore heaviness with shoegaze/post-metal fragility and emotive texture is well-judged. Delivered with progressive structuring and atmospheric appeal, Kardashev have succeeded in finding a rarely-explored niche in the extreme metal landscape, and have set up home there to great effect. I’m not a fan of spoken word, so these parts leave me cold, but everything else here is very good indeed.
Liminal Rite is a remarkable album. Make sure you check this out.