Hand Of Kalliach - Shade Beyond


Key Facts 

Country: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Genre: Atmospheric Celtic Metal

Release Date: 8th December 2020

Record Label(s): Independent 

Band Members

Sophie Fraser - Vocals, Bass

John Fraser  - Vocals, Guitars, Drums

Hand Of Kalliach - White Horizon

Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Fáilte, Fathoms, White Horizon

Hailing from Edinburgh and infused with Celtic and Scottish pride and power, the husband and wife duo that make up Hand Of Kalliach, create phenomenally atmospheric metal somewhere between the realms of melodeath and Celtic metal. Arsing in December last year, Shade Beyond is an energetic and strangely hypnotic EP which is sure to capture audiences with its unique and deeply rich textural sound. In an incredibly short space of time the band managed to be recognised and honoured with 'January's Band Of The Month' on the Midnight Hour show on Metal Meyhem Radio. This furious hybrid mix of folk songwriting elements with melodeath principles is certainly a fascinating and intriguing listening experience. 

Shade Beyond is an interesting blend of folk songwriting practices recreated in the melodic death metal form. Whilst there is use of traditional folk elements, it is kept to a minimum with the bagpipes being the most prominent in the songs' arrangements. From the very beginning of the EP you're greeted with texturally rich layers of vocals, synths and riffs, opening up the listener to this massive atmosphere that is full to the brim with pulsating energy. Even though there is a big focus on establishing a vast atmospheric space, there is also a relentless aggression that comes charging at you like a Celtic warrior ready for battle. The melodies sound triumphant and proud, standing mightily tall above the chaotic rhythms beneath it. With enchanting synths layered with beautiful ethereal vocals the music creates a vivid portrait of sweeping mountain ranges of snow capped peaks and deep, glacial valleys of outstanding natural beauty. Shade Beyond definitely feels like this sort of imagery has been a source of its influence and inspiration, as there is a very natural, flowing mysticism running through it. The grooves and rhythms that are worked in with the riffs are infectious, keeping your body in a state of continuous motion, as the pulsating energy reaches the very depth of your soul. The varying dynamics from relentless blast beats to slower sludgier riffs adds a great variation and gives certain sections an added impact, Fathoms is the best song to demonstrate the groove and dynamic phenomena that Hand Of Kalliach has created. Packing an epic punch with floating bagpipe melodies over the top. By contrast, White Horizon shows a different side of the band that is significantly more ethereal, whilst taking on a more classic melodic metal style. It's deeply atmospheric take on melody is special, and lifts the spirts of the listener as if they are hovering over the aforementioned mountain ranges under star lit sky. Overall, Shade Beyond is unique fusion of the intricate folk melodies and rhythms with the raw aggression of melodic death metal and Celtic metal. Channelling the Scottish spirit of freedom, it feels incredibly open and unrestricted, free to roam wherever it chooses. 

The production is instructing, as the vocals tend to make way for the pounding riffs and illustrious melodies. There is also a great deal of experimentation on the vocal mix, with flanges, chorus and heavy reverbs it creates movement in the mix as well as augmenting the atmosphere of the music. The rhythm guitar tones are fizzing with distortion and have an awesome tone blend across the mid and high frequencies, while the leads ring clear and seemingly float over the rhythms due to the reverb processing. The bass has a rich earthy distortion that adds a great texture to the low end, whilst weighing down the mix considerably. The kick has a pulsating thump that echoes into the ether alongside a snapping snare. The cymbals have a really nice glimmer and shimmer going on, which adds to the immersion because they aren't to harsh on the ear yet cut through with crystal clarity. Overall, the mix accentuates the music, giving it an invigorating freshness. 

If you fancy listening to an interesting blend of death metal and Scottish folk elements set to a melodeath back drop, get Shade Beyond in your ears!

Hand Of Kalliach - Shade Beyond


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