Nuvkuk? Kunfuk? Nunchuks? Nunavut? Kunvuk may well have a name which is a bit of a nightmare to remember for anyone with dyslexia, and depending on how delicate your sensitivities are that might not be where the bad dreams end. A parental advisory sticker would seem sarcastic if attached to Immute:Jackals. Make no mistake, when it comes to being ‘heavy’, Kunvuk are the real deal. Let’s look at the evidence:
Guttural screams? Check.
Vocal growls? Check.
Chugging riffs? Check.
Squeeling leads? Check.
Doomtastic drums? Check.
Got drone? Check.
Got menace? Check.
Skinny jeans? DENIED.
More substance in their music than in their hair or up their noses? Check.
Proper bad metal haircuts like skullet(s) and mullets? Check and check.
Legitimately insane music that sounds like it’s the kicking, screaming and biting-it’s-own-ears-off product of a bunch of committed musicians who have escaped from their padded cells? Checkmate.
Kunvuk have emerged from their asylum somewhere in Sydney, Australia to bring back the heaviness to 2010-era heavy metal. Kunvuk is either the vaccine or the virus, depending on your disposition and the tightness of your jeans. Bullshit haircut ‘heavy’ metal post-hardcore-blah-blah-whatever-insert-the-eyeliner-and-mascara-here bands like Black Veil Brides and Vampires Everywhere already sounded ridiculous, soft and plain awful but listen to Immute:Jackals and the collective ineptness of all these similar modern bands who dare to call themselves ‘heavy’ or ‘metal’ anything is amplified and exposed like never before. Immute:Jackals is the bullshit-proof, inspired collection of musical insanity that the metal scene has so desperately needed. Think you’re totally desensitized? Give this a try.
As mental as the music is, it is not without craft – there is real method to this madness and clearly a lot of work has gone into creating this. Immute:Jackals was recorded, engineered, mixed and produced by the band’s lead guitarist/vocalist David Hart at Kunvuk’s own Shadow Mekanik Studios and mastered by Rick O’Neil (Faith No More, Bob Dylan). Keeping things indie, the CD is stylishly packaged in a fold-out case with artwork that matches the craziness of the music and released via the band’s own label The Light of Damnation Records. Hart also designed the Kunvuk website.
Immute:Jackals is a double-disc collection, comprising Jackals, a re-recorded and re-mastered version of their original 5-track demo EP The Gone Mekanik Anticipation Demonstration together with Immute, a full-length twelve track album. The first track of Jackals is the perfect introduction: “Mouth 3ater” is a messed-up mix of noise and voices that is akin to a musical-equivalent of the mind-bending manipulation experienced by victims of The Scarecrow in Batman Begins. Similarly disturbing experiences can be had while listening to the remaining 16 tracks on Immute:Jackals as Kunvuk deliver a sound that transcends many different sub-genres of metal, with head-banging nods to Napalm Death and System Of A Down.
What more is there left to say? The heaviest album I’ve heard in 2010.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice