Manchester newcomers Kaiber Koi are out to challenge your perception of what a progressive metal band should be, promising an ethos of ‘breaking down the boundaries that lie between the generic and oversaturated.’ And they deliver exactly that in their fusion of powerful, intense metal with emotional, enticing melodies.
The band started from the ashes of a former prog metal band that vocalist Tom Eccles had been part of along with Jake Mazzuca (percussion) and Oliver Jones (guitar). When that fell through they recruited Simon Bell (bass and vocals) and Callum Greenhalgh (guitar), and Kaiber Koi was born with one shared goal. As Tom puts it “We all wanted to do something that wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill, progressive metal/tech band.”
And run-of-the-mill is certainly not what you get from Kaiber Koi, who’ve honed a sound they describe as “organic, real and visceral.” As Tom adds: “I think it’s just something that comes naturally to individuals like ourselves. We all have this instinct to make something that isn’t just the sound of notes in a certain pattern, at the core of our belief it’s all of our exposed feelings felt through a single creative process.”
Our first taste of the Kaiber Koi offering is debut single Archaic Wave, which was released in January. On the track, Tom tells us to expect: “An eclectic blend of progressive metal, and a euphonious journey of our sound. It’s something that will stay with you long after hearing it. Ride the wave and find out for yourselves.”
It opens up with a fun little looping guitar, drums and bass gradually enter and build, then another darting guitar line comes in under drawn-out vocals. A big burst of vocals sees the pace pick up, then more intense versions of the opening lick take over. Big vocals “So savour the broken bodies of this night, To my surprise, Your light’s too bright” come in over palm-muted guitars as it builds towards a smash of big punchy guitars.
These lead into a reprieve of the looping guitar – and we’re still only halfway in. A period of calm takes over, with light guitars and floaty high-pitched vocals, then repeating guitar notes and cymbals support intensifying vocals that build up to a big guitar solo. The looping guitars return in a frantic heavy ending to the track. Check it out in the video below:
On the track’s reception, Tom told us: “It has been pretty insane! Everyone who has heard it has given overwhelmingly positive feedback, which is crazy for a band who have played three shows since forming. Personally, I think a lot of people have been waiting for something like this for a while, something that you can’t quite pigeonhole to one certain sound or genre, and that gets people talking and listening.”
Tom tells us his own music influences range from the likes of Slipknot, Glassjaw, System of a Down and Reuben through to Radiohead, The Cure and Manic Street Preachers. While the wider band are influenced by Tool, Karnivool, Meshuggah, Incubus, Deftones and many more.
The inspiration behind their music is about as intense as it sounds. As Tom explains: “The first songs I wrote the lyrics for are based around an introspective look at the raw ideology I had going through my mental health issues and handling my autistic nature on a day-to-day basis.
“It basically ended up as a downward spiral into self loathing and depression and how dealing with something so delicate in extremely negative ways caused a lot of damage to myself and to those closest to me.”
The band have big plans shows later in the year alongside plans for new music by the end of the year.
Kaiber Koi are very much a band worth keeping an eye out for. They may only have released one song to date, but what a song it is, and we’re really excited to hear more from them soon. Oh, and if you want to hear more from them yourselves, Tom adds: “We’re available for children’s parties.”