Release Year: 2015
Genre: Progressive Post Metal, Extreme Metal
Karol Piwowarski – Vocals, Guitar
Darek Adamczyk– Guitar
Łukasz Usydus – Bass
Kuba Mikulski – Drums
When people talk about extreme progressive metal bands that come to mind are Dillinger Escape Plan and Between The Buried And Me from the USA. Then there are bands like Gojira from France, Alkaloid from Germany. However Poland have produced a fine extreme progressive metal band in KORE.
Ever since Riverside opened the flood gates for Polish prog over 15+ years ago it seems prog’s tentacles has also reached into the extreme metal scene in Poland. KORE now follow in the footsteps of their Polish peers such as Riverside, Logic Mess and Abstrakt to name a few. KORE have now proven that Poland has become a prog stronghold with their 2015 release Evolve. They combine metalcore, death metal, djent sounding a lot like Tool, Pantera, Opeth and early DEATH yet with a hard modern progressive twist.
Monolith opens up with a eerie keyboard atmospheric effect that is brooding and fuzzy at times. Soon the rhythm section with guitar and bass come with a distorted rhythm passage followed by the dark vocal style of Karol Piwowarski first singing in a clean somber like dialect before exploding into a part metalcore part death metal grunt. This is backed by a powerful blast beat rhythm section done perfectly by Łukasz Usydus – Bass and Kuba Mikulski – Drums. There are some math metal elements that have recently been received in the pantheon of progressive rock and metal. About the 4:50 mark there is some very tight post rock chants. This is soon followed up with a heavily detuned distorted progressive passages that seem regressive from time to time. Towards the end there are some great in and out harmonies and echoes vocally.
Pulsar starts a a furious blast beat drum with a more percussive bass section. This is soon followed by a blackened thrash metal passage instrumentally while maintaining a monster grunt and growls that often remind me of Opeth’s Host Of Perdition off of 2005’s Ghost Reveries. Pulsar is a track that hammers the listener from start to finish. About the 3:00 mark there is some killer guitar solo work that taps the vein of thrash to death metal progressions. About the 4:00 mark the track takes on a whole other detuned progression.
Burning Idols opens up with what appears to be a keyboard based effect however on the contrary it is done by the guitar. For a brief period the band uses the guitar much like Tom Morello would during the Rage Against The Machine era. This storm surge is followed by the wind howls of growls and grunts playing off the rhythm section. Once again Karol Piwowarski wonderfully executes both clean vocals and death metalcore vocals. In the 3:00 mark there is a nice accent of spoken word combined and followed by progressive growls and screams. At the 3:50 mark the band has a more traditional rock metal guitar solo.
Monochrome opens with a killer distorted guitar with a sick heavy chord bend progression. Monochrome is definitely a track for those that like TOOL with the thrash work of Pantera with a little Devin Townsend mixed in. At the 2:38 mark we witness again some wonderful spoken word passages before once again exploding into a grunt growl vocal. Monochrome even dabbles a bit into alternative metal vocally.
Song Of Hibb starts out with a quiet subtle acoustical ambiance with soulful warm clean vocals. Then the track starts to take a straight away rock approach. Song Of Hibb at times has a modern metal mainstream sensibility about. Not only are the vocals warm and inviting the instrumental sections are more mellow with eerie dark lead guitar progression. Soon the guitar solo work goes into more of a shred form for the first time on the album.
No-Face Portrait explodes with some really heavy fast double bass drum blast beats running side by side with some powerful clean vocals. Soon the track takes on a straight away rock track. There is a gracefully blistering rhythm guitar based solo within this track as well. The vocal work later in the track goes into death metal style grunts echoed through the filter of black metal screams and post rock clean vocals.
The Covenant starts like a old school blackened thrash track and soon is followed with a wall of growls and grunts. The band takes a break and goes into a very alternative post rock passage with modern vocals. There is also a killer guitar string section with a vocal whisper side by side. The vocal passages remind me a lot of Rush where there is a lot to say lyrically through the death metal filter of Opeth and even earlier Jonas Renske of Katatonia. There are some very nice backing vocals that are more present within the track adding more layers. Although extreme the band has a uncanny ability to do old school solo’s on guitar which is a rare element within extreme progressive metal that is more focused on the percussive qualities. The guitar work at the 7:05 mark is a more tradition blackened metal sound. At about the 8:30 mark the band tastefully winds the album to a close with a calming acoustic guitar passage.
If KORE continue to make music like they have here on Evolve, I fully believe they will be richly rewarded. If great music like this continues from KORE than the 2010’s will have written yet another chapter in the long history of metal. I give this a 4/5 for effort and continuing to establish Poland as a new Prog Stronghold.