Kinnefret (English translation – ‘Hate Grudge’) are a Persian American melo-death band from Oakland, California, formed July 2011. Their demo, ‘A Far Cry From Freedom’, released early 2012, was influenced by old Iranian music, Sepultura, Death and Lamb of God. After several line-up changes, the new current sound of Kinnefret is hugely influenced by female vocalist Chelsea Rocha. Their first full-length album was released in May 2016, followed by a Californian tour.
The Awakening – very Dioesque wind breeze intro, which could have come straight from ‘Holy Diver’, but differentiated from that, by mysterious closing beats and indecipherable background two-way radio chat, echoing Leppard’s ‘Rocket’; all wrapped up in a way guaranteed to keep you guessing.
Victim Eyes – Fucking hell, that was one suitably angry intro! Well there’s no denying from the start that this is melo death. Only a fool would argue that screamingly obvious fact. Lots of growly roars, screams and generally, evident rage. Some interesting arrangements towards the closing section and a rather beautiful acoustic riff, right at the end, which is just a bit abrupt. On the whole, a decent blend of instrumental melody and vocal aggression.
Losing Grips To Gain Grips – Wow! Now that’s unusual for a melo death track, to begin acoustically and so mysteriously gently. Of course, the characteristic anger soon surfaces, but it’s a very clever arrangement, which makes it stand out from your average melo death band. I like the way they’ve broken the song up, with various styles, sounds and beats. It makes a refreshing change. There’s so much experimental musicianship played around with here, it’s difficult to articulate, verbally. Listen and draw your own conclusions.
The Warrior – Oh yes! Very nice slide riff intro there. The Slayer style’s down immediately. Lightning fast riffs and already, it’s obvious that this band like to employ each track to focus on one or two specific elements; a format with a lot to be said for it. This song’s where the melodic angle’s been focused and it’s a welcome break from standard melo death fare. No bland sameness to be found here).
Salvation – Bang! Now, the drums come to life, in an unmistakably hammering fashion. It’s just a blast of pure drumming heaven. Great mix of vocal power and intense drum rolls. The pace is relentless and ear shattering quality is the result.
A Far Cry From Freedom – Another beautiful acoustic intro, with a strong taste of flamenco this time, going down well – soon followed with a brain bursting round of pure venomous attack. Vocals and accompaniments blend perfectly here, showcasing the absolute depths to which these guys are in tune with each other. Pure musical intuition, pouring out, in a vengeful, hate filled stream of death.
Bleed Out The Sickness – Crashing in there, with no hesitation and positively vomiting blood. As in the title, the performance really does bleed forth bile. Just what melo death’s meant to do. At that point, I doubt I can pay them a bigger compliment, so I’ll leave it at that. See the title. What you see is what you get.
Eternal Damnation – Racing right up to the starting line, launching an onslaught of so much deathly intent, you’d think the well was running dry. For comparison’s sake, imagine Arch Enemy and you’re there.
Death Instrumental – Opening with the sound of the bleeps on a life-support machine, accompanied by some rather lovely, though mournful guitar riffs. From the mid-section onwards, the riffs become livelier and more vibrant, alternating back to the more sombre tone, towards the end. A statement of some kind? Almost certainly and very carefully done.
The Prophets – Ooh, hammering, brain shattering intro, of epic proportions. Yet, it still manages to inject so much melody, you can sink into it, enjoyably. Loud, distinctive and slightly reminiscent of Skeletonwitch, in places. The vocals really come in to their own and scream, quite literally, for well earned recognition here. Another abrupt finish, but there really isn’t much else to complain about otherwise.
Coming Of Age – Booming title track opening, aptly placed, with a gorgeous, clearly melodic thread running through it. Leaves breathing space, fading out gently.
Overall – Variety is this album’s buzzword and really, its central theme. More like an amalgamation of various metal styles and genres than solely melo death. Rather than attempting to isolate itself from the crowd, by maintaining a pure melo death ethos, it actually stands out, for its unabashed use of eclectic techniques, which, combined as they are, create something more vibrant and fascinating, making for a fuller and more sensory listening experience.
For fans of Skreamer, Arch Enemy, melo death and eclectic metal.