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Kapakmens – Kapakmens II

Kapakmens – Kapakmens II

From Latvia hails the band Kapakmens, meaning Tombstone in the Baltic tongue, and they’ve released their second record digitally. Pounding, sludgy hardcore with a clear metal edge to it. The name has been spreading after a bunch of impressive shows, so time to check them out.

The band started out early 2013 when a bunch of guys who played in thrash metal band Collide wanted to do something else. Drummer Edgars Felkers is also active in hardcore band Kastete and crust/metal outfit Wagars. To be fair, all of them have been active in various punk, hardcore and metal bands. They draw their inspiration from raw punk and hardcore of the past decades, incorporating plenty of metal flavors.

So, how does that work out? Violently, think Bolt Thrower meets All Out War. Some Ringworm and Earth Crisis and the head on vibe of 25 Ta Life can be distinguished as well with a strong negative vibe. Opener ‘Anti-Pozitīvs’ tells enough about the frustration that’s being expressed here. Gritty rhythms are accompanied by a pounding aggression and an oldschool feeling of punkrock, barked vocals dish out the anger in Latvian. A language that works surprisingly well for this purpose. ‘Laime’ follows that up with a very moshable sound.

‘Marionetes’ continues with a pulsating rhythm and bass sound that feels like something from sewers full of decay. The song deals with humanity being like puppets and takes a high pace. ‘Nāves Disko’ continues that feeling of discomfort, when the vocalist suddenly adds this fake cheery singing into the dark matter that is the sound of Kapakmens. Cynical and spiteful ‘Nezāles’ tells how humanity is a weed that should be pulled out, burned out to the root. Taking the same breakneck speed and barking vocals, livened up with some high flying guitar work.

‘Dīvainā Grāmata’ displays the punk side of the band, though the vocals would go better with grindcore. Literally translating as ‘Strange Book’, the song deals with the Bible obviously and does this rather fast. The record is closed with ‘Izlikts Apskatei’, also the more metallic song on the record, filled with tasty riffs and speed changes. Kapakmens may not be the most stunningly amazing band you’ll hear, but their purposeful simplified bluntness and gritty sound is definitely entertaining and shows a lot more diversity than heavy hitting debut Kapakmens.

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