An Absolute Delineation of the Black Arts

An Absolute Delineation of the Black Arts

Band: Kalabira

Album: Void (Demo)

Released date: October 6th, 2018

Genre: Black Metal

Country: Philippines

LabelUnsigned / Independent


More than two years after Cebu‘s Kalabira had unleashed upon the humankind their four-track EP entitled “Hypokrito“, the band finally unchained two new tunes in their latest independent CD-R demo release “Void“. The band is down to just two (Samael and Binggoy) original members this time, but they have found help in the drum with the addition of Kyndall (Comatose). This new demo was released early October of 2018 and it was first introduced during Cebu Extreme Music Production‘s Hellfest XII. To cut to the chase, Kalabira had picked up where they left off with this new offering. And by that, I mean that these new tracks are totally intense and blaring tunes with relentless, bleak and aggressive nature.

To those who have not picked up their early material, let me give you an overture about the band’s music. Kalabira is one of the numerous modern hyper-blasting black metal acts who wander the realm of the black arts in this era. Their kind of black metal music is the type that storms the listeners with mid to fast-paced melodies which are in opposition to the more basic and stripped down approach of the usual and accustomed black metal groups coming out in the genre.

Void“, in my own opinion, is a truly impious and malevolent piece of a black metal demo. The new materials in this release are cold, dark and are both performed exceptionally well with formidable guitar and drum work. The instruments played in here are relentless and aggressive, and the attack on the listeners’ eardrums doesn’t stop until the 13 minute and 50-second long demo is finished. Present in these new tracks are great guitar riffs played inimitably by Binggoy throughout the whole demo. Notwithstanding the fact that Binggoy‘s riffs in both of the songs here are mostly in mid-pacing and moving to a swift-paced, by the narrowest of margins, it also almost not lack the problem that a lot of BM acts had suffered in that department. Most modern bands who are trying to accomplished a beefy guitar area in the BM realm usually gets a really thin product, but Kalabira had inimitably achieved what most bands cannot. Now, the riffs in “Void” may not be as thick as death metal riffage, but it definitely has far more timbre than that of used by bands who are worshipping Darkthrone or Bathory.

While some might find only a few pure headbanging riffs provided here, Binggoy had planted some pretty killer riff arrangements that will surprise those who dare listen. While the riffs are accelerated and chaotic, there is a sense of melody to the guitar that makes it far easier for the listeners to get into them. These melodies can be also catchy and they help the audiences in recognizing the tracks and enjoy them in every single aspect of their brutality and darkness.

The bass department supplied by Samael may not be that immense, but it most certainly adds a vital factor in the thickness being added to the music. Samael‘s bass playing has taken full advantage of the demo’s production as it amplifies the intensity of the band’s music. That being said, it showcases how this group is probably one of the few bands in the genre who can actually properly utilize bass. Kyndall of the Cebuano death metal band Comatose joined Samael and Binggoy as the third entity to spread the music of malevolence for this latest demo, and his drum work here is absolutely phenomenal and it totally fits with the music of Kalabira. His drumming is as intense, as chaotic, and as on steroids as usual as those provided by Arniel in “Hypokrito“, but at the same time Kyndall also offers enough rhythmic variation to keep the listener’s interest intact. His carrying out behind the kit has that strong hint of death metal drumming execution in it with some obvious general black metal blast beats, snare and cymbal smash. Yes, it might be that simple and straightforward, but the deliverance is extremely effective.

Arguably, the best part of this demo is the vocals. Binggoy‘s black metal raspy screams are so bleak and hate-filled that it contributes a lot to this material’s depraved and dark atmosphere. His voice is perfect for the songs and the band’s style. It has those very aggressive and unilluminated qualities which consummately brings to us that actual feeling of being tormented by Mephistophelean entities in the depths ov hell. There is an abundance of power to his vocal delivery and it’s really hard not to get pumped with sinister energy whenever he screeches and utters the ominous and baleful lyrics of the songs.

For a demo, I dig the production done in “Void“. Its production is never too outdated and never too modern, as it has that right mixing. It stands in the middle ground of being raw and semi-polished, and we can hear the instruments perfectly in all their power, but at the same time, we are pummeled through a massive attack of rawness and darkness.

All in all, “Void” is a really solid slab of blasphemy and musical carnage coming from a band not hailing from Scandinavia. Kalabira had once again crafted a couple of stormy black metal anthems that impeccably showcases the worship of the dark side and demise with their release of this demo. You can find no keyboards, no clean vocals and no bullshit in this album and that’s what makes it worthy to add in your extreme metal collection. Now, all that I am waiting is for these fellas to release a debut full-length record. I am really looking forward to that day for I know that they are ready to keep it up a notch after I have listened to the tracks in this demo which represents an absolute delineation of the black arts.


Rating: 7.8/10


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