VAKA - Kappa Delta Phi

Vaka - Kappa Delta Phi

10 songs
51:48 minutes
***** ****
Murkhouse

Bandpage

There is only so much you can do nowadays to add new impulses to post metal, but Karl Daniel Lidén, who has been playing in various Swedish bands since the mid-Nineties, may just be the man to revitalise the genre. Vaka seems to be more his project than a regular band, and considering that he played all the drums and keyboards on the debut album Kappa Delta Phi, it should be no surprise that his instruments play a major role in his compositions. Hiring eight musicians, among other bassist Stefan Dimle of Paatos and Landberk fame, to help him flesh out his ideas, the collective comes forward with eight songs (and two intros) that sound on the surface like a mix between Neurosis and Isis, were it not for Lidén’s abundant use of Seventies analogue keyboards (mellotron, harmonium) and classical piano that allow for a definitive progressive rock touch. Especially the first two songs, Born To Secrecy and I Of Everything, have a lot in common with early King Crimson. The numerous instrumental passages betray the composer’s love for soundtrack music, which is another undeniable influence on his music.

Some post metal bands truly rock, others just jump on a bandwagon without really exciting, but Vaka made the seemingly impossible or at the very least highly unlikely come true with their debut album. They take a genre which lately has been trod to death and invigorate it with new ideas from times past. I wonder if there are many people out there who like Seventies art rock as well as new millennial forms of metal, but the eclectic age we are living in should make it easy for Vaka to find a target audience.

Kappa Delta Phi is an exciting foray into new musical directions, performed by a collective that wisely decided to limit itself to reasonable song lengths. The intense production, also in the hands of the band leader, makes its best to highlight the different instruments, making this an unusual yet very likeable addition to the contemporary post metal catalogue.

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