Tempe, Arizona-based deathgaze outfit KARDASHEV will release their stunning sophomore full-length, “Liminal Rite”, on June 10th via Metal Blade Records. The band unveils today “Glass Phantoms,” the latest single from their stirring new full-length.
Guitarist Nico Mirolla says about the track: “The Lost Man’s addiction to control fails him. He ascends the stairs, exits the house, and finds himself standing in the spot where his father knelt so many years ago. Guilt masked by anger grabs him by the chest and he curses the earth beneath him. The death of his brother rises to the surface of his mind like a cloud of locusts swarms a field, ripping and tearing until hunger is satiated. He clutches a stone and sees the ghostly effigy of his father’s hand doing the same. Images of the tragedy that took his brother away flood The Lost Man, and he remembers the fury of his father as the truth was laid bare. But what was it that grave mistake that manifested by his own actions? The memory is too far in the ground, buried under broken glass and isolation. But this time will be different. This time he will not be cast aside. He is home, and he would rather die than suffer the loss of his past for a second time.”
Forged in 2012, KARDASHEV’s mission statement could best be described as, “Attempting to create the most beautiful, heavy music through themes of love, loss, and altruism in the metal spectrum.” The band dropped their debut full-length “Peripety” in 2015 and has since focused on short form concept records, most recently 2021’s stirring “The Baring Of Shadows.” Rarely approaching the creation of a record with any preconceptions or plans as to what form it will take, they work until what they generally envisaged manifests itself. The result is this year’s “Liminal Rite” featuring eleven deeply rousing, poignant, and musically grandiose tracks.
Opening with the gorgeous drones of “The Approaching Of Atonement” before launching into the densely layered, surging “Silvered Shadows,” an air of tragedy looms over much of the record’s proceedings demanding an emotional response at every musical turn. “Liminal Rite” is lyrically deep and complex, focusing on mood above all else. Guitarist Nico Mirolla aptly describes the songs as musically bearing resemblance to freeform jazz or a progressive record, because, “The story is the focus. There is an overtly important narrative taking place that is facilitated by the sonic textures and qualities intentionally designed for it.”
The record follows a narrative laid out by drummer Sean Lang’s spoken word parts. Elaborates Mirolla, “Liminal Rite explores how the past can both wound and seduce, leading us down a path of self-destruction. It’s an anecdotal tale from a fictional man’s perspective late in life on how perception and reality do not always coalesce. His experience tells a larger message of how our minds often create a false view of the past. Sean’s narration is him expressing the man’s perception and recollection of life. The failure of his memory, the nature of dementia, and how it plays into his experience are all encapsulated by the narrative sections.”
While Lang simply speaks his parts, vocalist Mark Garrett possesses a phenomenal vocal range, branching from the heavenly and frail to multiple different extreme metal styles, and he follows his gut instincts when it comes to deciding which to employ. “Nico, [bassist]Alex [Reith], and Sean write music that is heavily focused on emotional storytelling, Garrett notes. Because of this, and since I write vocals once the rest of the song is complete, I find myself both swept away in the emotion of the song and wanting to help further the cathartic experience of the listener even more.”
With drums tracked in Lang’s home studio, KARDASHEV returned to Endless Gate Audio in Arizona to track guitar, bass, and vocals. They then gathered at The Sound Lair in Tennessee – the first time this lineup has ever been in the same room together – to work with producer/mixer Miah Lajeunesse. The album was mastered by Ryan Williams. The band also brought in Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s saxophonist Christoph Clöser – which was a life goal checked off for Mirolla – to add an extra flavor to haunting, epic closer “Beyond The Passage Of Embers,” and Christopher Blaney added some piano parts alongside those of Rieth. The members also pushed themselves into new territory: Garrett recorded his own vocal harmonies rather than relying on a vocoder as on previous releases, Rieth recorded some piano parts, and Lang penned and recorded the spoken word story that haunts the record. The album comes cloaked in the cover art of Faith Veloro.
“Liminal Rite” be available on CD, digitally, and LP on the following color variants:
- Misty Rose Marble (US exclusive)
- Light Gray Marbled (US exclusive)
- Pale Blue Grey Marbled (EU exclusive)
- Crimson Marbled Marbled (EU exclusive – ltd to 300 copies)
- Clear Ochre Brown Marbled (EU exclusive – ltd to 200 copies)
- Pastel Blue Marbled (EU exclusive – ltd to 200 copies)
- Clear Lilac Marbled (EU exclusive – ltd to 200 copies)
Find pre-order options HERE. Fans of The Contortionist, Rivers Of Nihil, Devin Townsend, and Alcest, pay heed.
“Liminal Rite” Track Listing:
- The Approaching Of Atonement
2. Silvered Shadows
3. Apparitions In Candlelight
5. Lavender Calligraphy
6. The Blinding Threshold
7. Compost Grave-Song
8. Cellar Of Ghosts
9. Glass Phantoms
10. A Vagabond’s Lament
11. Beyond The Passage Of Embers
- Nico Mirolla / Guitars
- Mark Garrett / Vocals
- Alex Rieth / Bass
- Sean Lang / Drums