WORDS: Craig Hibberd
Friendship plays a big part in bands, without it, you lose all creative purpose. A small, young group of friends have come swarming from their home of Belgium and it’s evident that the bonds of friendship STEAK NUMBER EIGHT possess, crafts a monolithic work of art in their Third Studio Album, Kosmokoma.
At an average age of 23 the band are mature in their writing and are definitely in control of their sound. Sludge Metal is where they are placed in the musical web of sub-genres, but they weave from that and form what can only be described as Steakalised-Metal, whatever the hell that is. To put it simply, STEAK NUMBER EIGHT have spun their own web of sound to the wall and that is an accomplishment in metal sub-genres.
Kosmokoma is like a big jamming session, it takes me to my point of Friendship playing a big part in bands. It’s easy to tell STEAK NUMBER EIGHT loved crafting every minute of it.
Return Of The Kolomon starts the album off in blazing fashion, with drummer Joris Casier building the momentum with a steady, energising drum beat. Guitarist Cis Deman joins, using a Hammer/Pull tap, which runs through the majority of the track; Its melody runs smoothly with Guitarist/Vocalist Brent Vanneste adding subtle notes. The overall sound in the opening segment is rather dreamy, as if waking to a world with new eyes; soft exposure. Return Of The Koloman kicks in and it is a flood of energy. The drums are upbeat, as well as the tone. There is a happy vibe to the progression, it’s welcoming and brings the listener into its world. Brent Vanneste offers his voice towards the end with grungy screams, or yells. Everything works together and it is the next track that solidifies STEAK NUMBER EIGHT’s sound.
Your Soul Deserves To Die Twice – a lovely title, we’re sure you will agree. The first thing you will notice when the track starts is the production. It is exquisite. Drummer Joris Casier is well-versed at his station: effective drum beats that really come alive through the mix, with both guitars and Jesse Surmont’s Bass seeming to fit in perfectly. Who is behind the production? Well, triple Grammy-Award winning producer David Bottrill, who has produced/engineered albums for bands such as MUSE, STONE SOUR, and TOOL. The production is stellar and compliments STEAK NUMBER EIGHT’s talents perfectly.
Lyrically, this track consists of one line, “this is the place where your soul deserves to die.” It is the omnipotent voice of Brent Vanneste that carries these words so well. He is an interesting vocalist; a moody tone with lasting power and energy that is impacting throughout the album.
Gravity Giants stands tall. It is a crushing track. The opening, being slightly progressive, leading to an effective riff that cuts its way towards the focal point of this track. A steady bang of floor-toms and fills, that are expertly placed; this is drummer Joris Casier’s percussion through the build up, with bassist Jesse Surmont holding the rhythm with his deep bass tone.
Simplicity, it’s the best part of music and when it’s done with precise control, it’s an emphatic experience. The chorus is just that, clear of what it wants you to hear. Crushing in its groove. Gravity Giants keeps this riff until a trippy clean section, which builds to a pulsing kick drum. The trippy section comes alive in big noise, it’s a great way to close off the track.
There are a lot of effects being used within the instrumentation; that can be said for the rest of the album. It makes for a unique listening experience, something STEAK NUMBER EIGHT get spot on, time and time again.
Kosmokoma is a fantastic album. It’s a sturdy locomotive made of the rarest of materials, that stays on course throughout the journey it faces. From start to end there is never a moment that the experience should stop. STEAK NUMBER EIGHT have become a well formed band. They may be in their early twenties, but they are forcing their way ahead of those they once aspired to be. This is what friends do, they make music, but four friends from Belgium? They make a masterpiece.
Kosmokoma is out now via Indie Recordings.