Album Review: Death Karma – A Life Not Worth Living

Death Karma - A Life Not Worth Living

Death Karma [Czech Republic]
A Life Not Worth Living
2013
EP
Iron Bonehead Productions
Black/Death Metal

Death Karma might be a young band in itself, but boasting members who have played with bands such as Manic Butcher, this Czech outfit is definitely not a newcomer to extreme metal from the region. A Life Not Worth Living is the band’s first release, and being released under the excellent Iron Bonehead Production certainly bodes well for the band.

The raw production quality is one of the things that hit the listener first, and with the blackened opening riffs of Infernal Vlad and that somewhat doomish pace that drummer Tom Coroner sets in the first few moments of A Dead Oracle, one is reminded of bands such as Inquisition and their slower and more ritualistic and occult-themed moments. But soon enough the band picks up speed and intensity, and from here on out the aggression that Death Karma presents is somewhat more similar to Swedish bands such as Marduk and at times, to a slighter extent, Watain with the fusion of black and death metal elements especially with the barbaric sounding G.G. Funeral, though Death Karma manages to emanate a rawer and dirtier feel with A Life Not Worth Living. There are also some thrashier moments on the album, giving a nice balance between the ritualistic and the more fun side of the band.

One thing that I really liked as well on the album is the somewhat subtle usage of keyboards at the background. One really has to strain a little just to catch a hint of that, and it certainly adds to the overall atmosphere and somewhat haunting feeling that the band is trying to bring out with their material. And also, despite the raw and filthy production quality on the release, it was nice to hear how each of the instruments play their role, particularly the strong bass presence that certainly makes the release all the more crushing and heavy-sounding.

The band’s usage of sound samples of sex and orgasms brings about a slight chuckle, though for some reason it feels like there is some reference to necrophilia or some other perverse fetishes at these moments, not surprising considering how tracks are named G.G. Funeral. Despite this being only a short 4-track EP, Death Karma has certainly left quite a deep impression on me, and if one were looking for some good Czech extremity, A Life Not Worth Living is certainly one to look out for.

Death Karma on the internet:
Iron Bonehead Productions

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