Review | Liv Sin – KaliYuga
Sister Sin fronter Liv Jagrell released in 2016 her personal twisted metal upon the masses sprouting the Liv Sin debut release `Follow Me’. Crystalizing and shaping her own unique sound, 2019’s `Burning Sermons’ pitched up spawning a handful of popular tracks going gathering high rotation on Spotify and streaming platform’s hotlists. As the pandemic hit, the scene halted with Liv Sin becoming static to recharge with a new line-up, ready to swing the next album out of the ballpark. Back behind the drumkit is Per Bjelovuk assisting founders Liv and guitarist Patrick Ankermark, with fresh blood brought in by Daniel Skoglund (bass) and lead guitarist Jay Matharu of Eleine fame.
`KaliYuga’ has Liv and her band returning back to the fold with the album’s title stating exactly what her intentions are: Referring to the fourth of the Hinduism ‘Yugas’, `KaliYuga’ refers to the age of conflict and sin…
WHAT’S IN A TITLE, RIGHT?!
`KaliYuga’ not only features the Hinduism referral but weaves together the conceptual theme of the record with 10 heavy hitting tracks that are strongly rooted in the present, making `KaliYuga’ the unofficial soundtrack for these disturbed 20s. ,,The Process” immediately roars loud. Ravishing scorching riffs and modern sound effect underneath its tasteful injected melodies, create turmoil for Jagrell to breathe fire over. Her power and vocalic appeal are dominating the tracks that are loaded with hooks and breaks. Anger laden, volcanic and driven the song enrols into a wonderful melodic solo and bouncy groove.
It is the perfect pitch for the soundtrack unravelling. Our dystopian world unfolding, Liv Sin delves deep to reap what globalism has sown and takes us on this modern journey through the present with songs like the highly melodic but powerful ,,Antihero”, the back and forth shifting gears of ,,King of Fools” and the rousing ,,Forget My Name” with its military jault chanting the marching menace “left, right!”.
THE LYRICAL CONTENT
All songs check the boxes of modernity and pack tremendous force. Riffs are powerful, hooks plenty, and the groove and rhythm changes inject diversity and cast dismay under its turmoil. Lyrical content morphs to context for the band to explore with Liv propelling the revived and recharged Liv Sin through the anguish and anger of the present. ,,Karma” shifts up the pace and shrugs with loud riffs and wonderful keyboard and synth sections that border with industrial. The question-and-answer chants contrast well with Jagrell’s growls and powerful vocals, well dosed representing content and dismay. The song fades into the meandering opening of ,,I am the Storm” that bursts into metallic action before Liv lays down her most tasteful appealing vocals recorded to date.
Pulsating bass and Jagrell touching deep, the song unexpectedly discharge a heavy riff and powerful keys pumping its chorus sky-high. Switching registers, the fronter belts out her anger and agony with growls that might shy away Alissa White-Gluz and Angela Gossow.
With the opening to ,,Virus” shifting down in tone, it is obvious the centerpiece of the album that breathes fire. Doom heavy guitars and anger-laden roaring vocals it crawls forward towards the subtle bridge (questioning) sections reflecting the impact of the pandemic on the population. The chorus unloads heavy impacting hooks and breaks depicting the outcome of the restrictions, displaying Liv Sin’s feeling of mankind being powerless. The swirling riff of the chorus is reminiscent to Maiden’s ,,Aces High” lick and to my feeling embeds Bruce’s “…run, live to fly, fly to live” message into ,,Virus”. If so, well played and extremely well-orchestrated.
Returning to the heaviness ,,D.E.R” opens with a clean lick to burst with guitar riffs and rouses. Clawfinger’s Zak Telland Wenderson D’Paula (Army of Souls) guest on the track that benefits from Madeleine Liljestam’s (Eleine) and her poppy vocals interacting with Liv and both male contenders. Modern keys raining in the chorus that is held together by a powerful riff and great melodic vocal interaction. All four add up to one another’s range, creating pompous multi-layered accolades with memorable hooks. Guitars doubling up for the solo, chants and vocal interaction isolate back and forth. Powerful and melodic the song intensifies before dying out gracefully and stabbing back at you in full vocal unload of character. Intense!
Nu metal bred ,,The Swarm” fuses Liv Sin’s key metal ingredients to double bass rolls and colorful drum dynamics in heavy cadence with vocal outcalls atop. The chorus is powerful and melodic with drizzling modern keyboards. Halting in the static ominous middle section the song pitches King Diamond reminiscent howls with Liv chanting amidst male growls to build for a wonderful melodic solo that dies out into a tribal groove and Jagrell bringing the song back to form. A musical box tingles the ominous ,,Horizon in Black” at us. Melodic vocal lines and sterling guitar melodiesreign. The stop ‘n go motion of the prog metal tune outlines the songs message.
Looking back to the past and “… The scars in our home” and “a glimpse of the past” addressing what lies behind. Calling out reverting “in the night, in the night…. I paint the horizon” with towering anger and anguish unloading, to power up screaming “BLAAAAACK!”. The song has a nu-metal groove and industrial effects drizzling constantly while vocally the lyrics are like rap over an increasingly bouncy beat. As the song blasts its last dying notes, the musical box makes the song go full circle, closing in the lid on `KaliYuga’.
As mentioned before: Liv Sin with `KalkiYuga’ delivers the unofficial soundtrack of the 20s decade. It is the turmoil of the past 2 years captured in lyrics and put to music perfectly. With Liv Sin laying down their typical high energy potion of melodic metal, the band delves deep in the anguish of the present creating songs that stand out individually as well as part of the conceptual content offered. All swung into action with creative marksmanship and A-grade musical creativity providing a canvas to create a picture of reflection, raising questions and reflecting as a warning for the world.
I did not see this one coming… Homerun!
Release date: 27 January 2023