Stormy guitars and thunderous drums pull us straight into a grinding, grizzled EP from Japanese band Khola Cosmica who are as intense as they are elusive. With virtually no online footprint, most of the knowledge I have of them comes from their record company’s Bandcamp and the rest from their album.
The Annihilation to Come is going to be slow and painful- our fate is sealed and there is no escape from the swells of sound, pulling us deeper into the storm. Wordless roars break into a pocket of unrecognisable lyrics that could be Japanese but could just as easily be the cries of the damned.
Tumbling Down happens in slow motion, every phrase painfully dragged out and punctuated by Ryuhi Inari’s tortured vocals; it is the stress headache you can’t get rid of, the hangover that threatens to melt brain cells. Grabbing you by the heels, you are dragged through a mire of sound, hog-tied to the back of their truck.
Khola Cosmica need more than to be heard, they need to be experienced. They are Sunn-esque masters of Electric Wizardry and (I suspect) they do their best work live, where we can physically feel as well as hear their sound.
They do not write songs, so much as they create soundscapes. Vast dark worlds shaped by noise (both analogue and digital) and accented with occasional, twinkling percussive breaks.
Makhno may be attributed to the Russian revolutionary, or it may be something else. Either way it creeps in like malevolent mist, lurking with foul intent. Shut your eyes and you can feel the hordes amassing, the crunch of guitars enveloping you until there is no option but to submit to the walls of sound.
The album in first glance seems short but every track is a trek, ending on an 11 minute epic. By the end, I am wrung out and left wordless, lost in a sonic landscape.