Review from Musipedia of Metal

Posted by Nick Skog on Thursday, January 9, 2020 Under: English
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 ambient elements on offer here, and they are seamlessly blended with Black Metal elements, and there are a lot of those on here as well. This album features some exquisite tremolo picked riffs, with fairly smooth, trance inducing blast beats. There is an innate melodic musicality about these riffs that is very enjoyable, in some places it’s downright uplifting; the riffs on the aptly titled The Hope are a case in point, maybe a little bit like Deafheaven or Archivist, although I’d be doing Kassad a disservice to not point out that this artist has a very unique feel to them.

The subject matter of this album is based on urban decay and looking into the near future where cities are personified, malevolent beings. There is a darkness to this album that is an interesting juxtaposition to some of the uplifting guitar parts. Some of the ambient and drone sections carry a lot of this darkness, this is demonstrated by the final track The Hollow, which is the only track with no metal parts to it. The Hollow has a very slow build up to droning ambient noises, when a beat does come in it’s more like Trip-hop rather than anything you would associate with metal. There are Post Rock elements as well, some of the riffing on the second half of the track The Hopeless has this feel to it, and once it comes in the track gets bigger and bigger to a great ending. I used to live in Stockwell in South London, and this album does remind me of that period of my life and the juxtapositions of living in a big city. London is a very dark place, particularly when it comes to urban decay, and the squalid, neglected aspects of modern life.

However, London is also a vibrant city that is full of life, and I think that's where the mixture of feelings on this album come from. The album is full of the darkness, but also registers that from that darkness can come vital and life affirming things. This all ends up feeling cathartic and balanced. London Orbital is fantastic album. It’s enjoyable and immersive, a modern take on Black Metal and has sprung from living in a city. London Orbital is dark, dank, depressing whilst at the same time uplifting and life affirming, just like London itself. 

Rating: 8/10
Reviewed by: Paul Scoble

In : English 

Tags: "kassad" "kassad london orbital" "london orbital reviews" "kassad london orbital reviews" "urban black metal" "british black metal" "english black metal" 

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