Kalmen – Course Hex

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Van Records
Distributor/label URL: http://vanrecords.bandcamp.com/
Released: 2015
Buy Album [URL]: http://kalmenvan.bandcamp.com/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Kalmen.doom

Kalmen1Band line-up:

Marc – Bass, Vocals
Thomas – Guitars, Vocals
Jana – Guitars
Steve – Drums


1. Sol Devina
2. Gizeh
3. My Soul is Black
4. Katharseas
5. Naitrider
6. – –


Doom Metal is one of those lesser appealing metal genres to my taste, but every now and again I come across a group who perk my interests because they’ve taken a very interesting approach to one of the slower and more atmospheric areas of metal, which is a good area but has never quite taken me in the same way as atmospheric black metal and the like has done so.

Such a group includes German Psychedelic Doom outfit Kalmen and their debut studio release COURSE HEX. This album is what you need to hear if you’ve ever wondered what a drug infused journey into the farthest regions of the psyche feels like. Imagine being led into an abyss of wonderment by psychedelic forefather Jim Morrison, accompanied by a group of wandering minstrels with a taste for traditional heavy metal.

‘Sol Devina’ starts said journey with an atmosphere I can only describe as the love child of Bell Witch and The Melvins, had they jammed together long enough. ‘Gizeh’ then offers a more melancholic sludge pacing which will please anyone fascinated with the darker side of life. By the end of this track it feels as if you’ve completed the first stage of your journey coming to terms with the brand new psyche you’ve acquired.

Then before you know it, ‘My Soul is Black’ drags you back into hell with backing vocals that make you wonder if there are people talking inside your head increasing the paranoia. If this band set out to shock you into a whole new set of ideas and free thought then they’ve certainly achieved that. ‘Katharseas’ then sets you down a little and is morbid in its atmosphere. Very soon you find yourself afloat on a sea of droning noise and you wonder if it’ll ever stop.

Eventually ‘Naitrider’ will make you feel like you’re being keelhauled along said riverbed and dragged towards the proverbial light as your journey into the new soul is almost complete. The outro then gives off the impression you’re in a labyrinth finding your way to a brave new world with an atmosphere of guitars and bass that will really make you feel as if you’ve swallowed enough narcotics to put Morrison and his ilk to shame.

This is a psychedelic record I would recommend to anyone who likes it when bands fuse the haziness of the hippee counterculture with themes of the occult and wonder what it would feel like had they had an accident with a Ouija board or accidentally summoned demons from the nether world.

Great job Kelman, you’ve really put yourselves above other contemporary doom outfits for all the right reasons.

Review by Demitri Levantis