Review from The Headbanging Moose

March 5, 2020
From: The Headbanging Moose
Published: March 4, 2020 

Formed in 2014 in London, England, Urban Black Metal one-man project Kassad conveys an all-encompassing sense of existential terror and claustrophobic anxiety that hits you and builds to a crescendo before everything descends into dread and finally nothingness, combining the misery, futility, and madness of modern urban life with abrasive and gritty Black Metal and a hallucinatory ambience, being therefore highly recommended for fans of bands like Ihsahn, Darkspace, Burzum, Altar of Plagues, Nachtmystium and Downfall of Nur, among several others. After the releases of his debut EP Humans, in 2016, and his first full-length album Faces Turn Away, in 2017, an album that by the way explored themes of misery and claustrophobia in an urban setting, it’s time for Kassad to dive deep into this theme once again with his sophomore full-length opus, entitled London Orbital.

Recorded and mixed at Lusus Studios in London, mastered by Daniel Thabet at Liquid Studios, and featuring a gray and modern cover art by Brutal Colours, London Orbital centers around modern urban living and looks to a near future of megacities where the city itself is a personified, malevolent being where human empathy and culture have been replaced by artificial intelligence. “I wanted to create music for an imagined, future London – one where the city’s monoliths of glass and concrete have come alive to assert their malevolent control over the millions of people that live and toil amongst them. Workers travel in the vast shadows of these buildings, in the tunnels and transport systems that snake below or in the briefest snatches of sun that are yet to be blacked out. If you tilt your head and look at the city just right, you can already see the light starting to turn to darkness,” commented Kassad about his newborn spawn, an album that, besides its strong Black Metal root, also knows when to slow to a crawling funeral dirge to convey total despair and the loss of hope.

Ominous and melancholic sounds permeate the air from the very first second in The Boundary, where the serenity of Post-Metal is beautifully blasted by Kassad through his strident guitars and steady beats, exploding into high-end Urban Black Metal until its enfolding ending and with first-class poetry flowing from its introspective lyrics (“The city on the hill / Calls me for herself / Wants to own me / Like all her empty souls / That live inside her walls / A digital slave hoard / Eternal fires in code”). Then darker and heavier than the opening track, The Concrete is a gorgeous and captivating lesson in Atmospheric Black Metal where Kassad roars and gnarls in great fashion while at the same time he keeps pounding his drums and slashing his guitar strings nonstop, always focusing on extracting minimalist sounds and tones from all instruments.

And Kassad offers more of his Stygian and introspective sounds in The Hope, a song perfect for gazing at the sky on a cold winter night in the city, and as soon as you are absolutely mesmerized by his atmospheric and depressive music, Kassad brings forth a wall of blackened sounds that will crush your senses mercilessly. The Hopeless starts in a way that’s just as obscure and gray, working as a sequel to the previous song, showcasing Doom Metal-inspired sluggish beats intertwined with sounds of nature and eerie background elements before Kassad comes ripping with his anguishes growls in another top-tier Post-Black Metal extravaganza; and as Kassad’s grand finale to the album we have The Hollow, which begins in an even more melancholic and grim manner, with that bleak and ethereal vibe going on until the end of the song in a solid and vibrant display of austere, unadulterated and piercing Urban Black Metal.

As aforementioned, in London Orbital, which is available in full on YouTube and on Spotify, Kassad continues to delve into the claustrophobic, grim and lonely life in the city, resulting in a must-have album for admirers of the more modern side of Post-Black Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal. Hence, don’t forget to show your support to Kassad by following him on Facebook, and of course by purchasing your copy of London Orbital from the Hypnotic Dirge Records’ BandCamp or webstore in different formats, like the regular CD version or the “Faces Surveilled From Orbit” mega-bundle, as well as from Apple Music, from Amazon, from CD Baby or from Discogs. In a nutshell, Kassad managed to turn all the hopelessness, solitude and cold landscapes of his hometown into a majestic feast of grim and at the same time delicate sounds in London Orbital, proving Urban Black Metal is and will always be the perfect soundtrack for our harsh lives in the concrete jungles we live in.

Reviewed by: Gustavo Scuderi

Review from Ave Noctum

February 19, 2020
From: Ave Noctum
Published: February 17, 2020

We last heard from one-man, anonymous, London based black metal entity Kassad with debut album ‘Faces Turn Away’ back in 2017. The project intrigued me then and does so all the more now. London Orbital takes a ring-road around our concrete city and naturally at first along with its striking black and white cover art makes one consider all those places we slowly pass whilst stuck in a never-ending traffic jam on the M25. Abandoned bu...

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Review from Valley of Steel

February 7, 2020
From: Valley of Steel
Published: February 4, 2020

Hello there, readers. Was it just my imagination or did the first month of this year just totally fly by? Anyway, here we are a few days into February and finally this is the first time I’m getting around to writing about a 2020 release. I don’t feel great that it’s taken so long, but here we are. And, notwithstanding any change in the status of the creek, with regard to it rising or not, this should be the first of many.

This ...

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Review from Heavy Blog is Heavy

January 19, 2020
From: Heavy Blog is Heavy
Published: January 17, 2020

In the rapidly populating sea of post-atmospheric-gaze-whatever black metal it usually takes something truly innovative to grab my attention. Kassad doesn’t do anything overwhelmingly unique, experimental or progressive for the post-black metal scene, but by the end of the first track I just had that moment of “okay wow, these guys have got this sound figured out.” The greatness of their new album London Orbital sneaks up ...

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Review from Metal Pit

January 15, 2020
From: Metal Pit
Published: January 11, 2020

Un disco che nasce da un’idea chiara: parlare di un’ipotetica immagine futura di Londra, città in cui gli edifici di vetro e cemento prendono vita per controllare le migliaia di persone che lavorano e vivono al loro interno. Una città in cui, con il giusto punto di vista, si può vedere l’oscurità lentamente prendere il sopravvento sulla luce.
Le idee dietro a “London Orbital” sono chiare, e pur essendo concentrate sulla capit...

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Review from ZWaremetalen

January 15, 2020
From: ZWareMetalen
Published: January 10, 2020

Stilistisch gezien is het Londense Kassad een post-blackmetalband waarbij de line-up in de anonimiteit blijft. Geen idee dus wie er welk instrument bespeelt, of is dit toch weer zo’n typische éénmansband? Het doet er eigenlijk ook weinig toe, want het intrigerende concept en de clip van het tweede nummer The Concrete hebben mijn interesse voldoende gewekt.

In het verleden kwam ik graag in Londen en het is alweer veel te lang geleden...

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Review from Musipedia of Metal

January 9, 2020
From: Musipedia of Metal
Published: January 9, 2020

Kassad is a 1 man Black Metal project based in London, which is appropriate. London Orbital is Kassad’s second album coming 3 years after their debut Faces Turning Away, and 4 years after their debut Ep Humans. The feel on London Orbital is slightly less Black Metal than the bands debut, so we are closer to Post Black metal territory with this album. The album has a very modern feel as well, there are lots of electronic and ambi...

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Review from Wonderbox Metal

January 9, 2020
From: Wonderbox Metal
Published: January 6, 2020

This is the second album from UK post-black metallers Kassad.

Following on from 2017’s Turn Faces Away, Kassad now provide us with London Orbital, a dystopian concept album that’s modern and crushing in its bleak portrayal of near-future existence.

Kassad’s music is atmospheric post-black metal, combining harsh black metal with post-rock intricacy, dark ambience, and blackgaze atmosphere. It’s a delicate balance to do well, but...

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Review from Games, Brrraaains, and a Head-banging Life

January 5, 2020
From: Games, Brrraaains, and a Head-banging Life
Published: January 5, 2020

Creating a concept is one thing but making that concept come to life is another. Can the listener understand and be immersed in what the band/artist is trying to get across? Kassad’s creation, London Orbital has an incredible concept and across five unique but equally story telling tracks, it shines through. Like a ray of sunshine desperately trying to break through the darkness of the world.

Deliciously c...

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Review from Dead Rheteric

January 2, 2020
From: Dead Rheteric
Published: January 2, 2020

Back in 2017, Kassad impressed with Faces Turn Away, an album that made for an interesting merger between more corrosive black metal elements and the gloom of modern urban life. The same theme is applied to the band’s latest outing, London Orbital, though some of the more corrosive elements from the last album have been removed. Despite that, it’s a fluid album that sets itself apart from others in the post-black realm.

There’s st...

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 Released: January 10, 2020
Genre:: Urban Black Metal / Post-Metal