The Key To Nchuandzel: N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!
If you want riffs, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Prepare to get weird with the five song debut from The Key To Nchuandzel.
The Key To Nchuandzel set out to make a black metal album for his/their debut album N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! As The Key’s founder and one-man band La’akea maintains a strict diet of bong rips, Gas Chamber, Sissy Spacek, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, N’Gasta! is unsettling, unbridled chaos, somewhere in a Venn diagram of grindcore, noise, and jazz. It’s appropriately billed as “noisegrinding warjazz” by its creator, and goes beyond genre typologies. It’s reminiscent of the success of Endon’s genre-bending amalgams over their last two full length albums. In fact, The Key To Nchuandzel seems to have more in common with transgressive luminaries like Mr. Bungle or Naked City than many modern metal bands, with it’s disregard for norms, boundaries, or conventions.
If there is anything remotely “black metal” about N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, it’s the album’s first track “Emblems I II III”, which opens on synths turned up to 11, that remain, in and out, for the noisy five minute derangement. La’akea’s screams register lower than your average shriek and higher than your average growl. Speaking of Naked City, the vocals here bear a striking similarity to Yamantaka Eye, who featured on Naked City’s magnum opus, Grand Guignol (< required listening); mostly he just lets the fuck loose. There is more variation than just screaming here, too, from dying-man sad-sack whimpers to Revenge-esque-burps-meets-a-“dragon-on-coke”. It can be difficult to tell where distorted guitars end and static begins, when synths resurface or Christian Molenaar of Those Darn Gnomes (Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes) makes a guest appearance playing the saxophone and saxophone/flute on “Emblems IV V VI” and “Emblems VII VIII”, respectively.
Modern heavy metal references make more sense when discussing the album’s two “interludes”. “Under Saarthal” reminds us of atmospheric spooky-key interludes effectively used by Imperial Triumphant; “Ruins of Kemel-ze” sounds familiar as the Lightning Bolt meets The Body/Full of Hell’s drum orchestra”Our Love Conducted With Shields Aloft”. Overall, N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! clocks in around a lean nineteen minutes, which makes perfect sense given the abrasiveness of the material and the parent-genres in its DNA. “Emblems VII VIII”, N’Gasta!’s final track, caps off the album with a distorted and fucked up guitar “solo”, something like Jimi Hendrix meets Sonic Youth meets Anal Cunt, and it’s over.
N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis! is out now on Potentially Kinetic Records. La’akea is hard at work on a cassette release for N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, N’Gasta’s follow up album, a separate power electronics project, other goodies, and maybe (if we’re lucky), a proper black metal release. N’Gasta! is “music for true freaks”. Like Potentially Kinetic Records on Facebook, follow the label on Bandcamp, and pick up this album today. You can also check out La’akea playing live with those Those Darn Gnomes for their upcoming shows.