I’m one of those people that since I don’t live in China and haven’t been in that culture for all my life, I am absolutely enthralled by it. Chinese themed movies, stories, music, folklore, and all that good stuff are just so interesting to me that I almost never take a moment to back away from getting a new experience from something related to it. A new phenomenon that I’ve found is Chinese-themed metal which implies folk elements with Chinese instruments as bands like Whispered and Zuriaake capturing my imagination, and now Black Kirin have gained my full attention as their upcoming debut “National Trauma” is an album that must be heard by anyone who wants to hear a style of metal that can be considered “different”.
Not a single second is wasted with “National Trauma” as each moment is filled with some sort of epic badassery that as a fan of death metal, which is what Black Kirin basically is, I can honestly say that normal death metal rarely ever gets to this degree of awesomeness. If you want me to put Black Kirin to a genre then I’d have to say that this band is a melodic death band with obvious folk metal influences, but it feels like so much more than that because most of the songs off “National Trauma” are well over 6 and a half minutes long so that gives Black Kirin fucking loads of time to do anything they want musically. Clocking in at just over an hour long, this album has just about any Chinese culture and metal loving fan will be drooling over for the entirety of the record. There are parts where the metal is all powerful and you feel like you’re in the midst of a bloody war, then there are others where the folk elements will take over completely and you feel a wave of every single sensation there is to be felt as they cover all sorts of emotions, and then they will periodically mix to create a sound that is as chaotic as it is both beautiful and dynamic. And if you’re thinking that there’s just one style of vocals for the whole hour long then you need not worry because there are several styles throughout all of “National Trauma” that are endlessly entertaining as they keep the pace going and help keep the album fresh for the right amounts of time without allowing the vocals too be under-used or become stale which is something very subtle, but extremely appreciated by pretty much everyone because who doesn’t like it when things are shaken up just a little bit every now and then? Just everything from the super intricate guitars, booming vocals, powerful stories, and raw feel of the whole of “National Trauma” is pulled off so fucking amazingly well that even on my fourth spin of the album I couldn’t get over them.
The minor intricacies of this record are so major in the long run that after a while you really come to appreciate them, and that’s something bands can rarely pull off not to mention on their debut album as Black Kirin have done here. “National Trauma” is an immensely captivating, innovative, enticing, and truly epic album that cannot be understood in one listen alone. You must go back through this record so many times to really appreciate what Black Kirin has created here, and I can tell you that this alone shows great things for this band and I can promise you that you should follow them very closely and I do now.
LISTEN to “National Trauma” in full on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Black Kirin on Facebook here.