kama phobos


Ignition Records, 2023


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Some twenty years ago, I reviewed a great little disc from a band called Black Dahlia. Well, like many musical acts that come and go, they went. Sad, but it happens all the time; modern music being what it is, sometimes it’s survival of the fittest.

Fast forward 20 years. Guitarist Joel Emory, formerly of Black Dahlia, (who, full disclosure, is a former cousin-in-law of mine) went into the studio for the first time in a long time in his incarnation as burn.star. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Kama phobos is his (their?) first album, and it will burn off your wallpaper and scare your cat. This is a good thing, in case you wondered.

You can’t pin a genre on burn.star. At various times, they hit shoegaze, trance, electronica, dark heavy metal, distorted hip-hop (which reminds me of MC 500 Ft Jesus), new wave, angry Rage Against The Machine-type stylings, and heavily distorted ambient. It’s a challenge to keep up with Emory’s mental and musical processes, but it’s worth it. He played everything on this CD, and proved himself a highly talented multi-instrumentalist.

The album kicks off with the portentous “The Quandary,” which at times sounds like Bauhaus on even more acid, a psychedelic journey in strange places. “They Wandered (In The Shadows)” and “Sundowners” are nicely crunchy romps through dark metal. “Expanses Within,” “American Overlords,” “God I Wish You Loved Me”—I could go track by track on this one, but instead I want you to experience it yourself.

If there’s a misstep on kama phobos, it’s “Comin’ Your Way.” I just couldn’t get into it; it was like reading James Joyce in that I scrambled for some sort of hook to understand. That might be about me.

In the end, kama phobos is a challenging, well-crafted, multifaceted voyage through multiple musical stylings. If your tastes run to the shadows when it comes to your tunes, definitely check it out.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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