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Reviews: SODP093

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On April 22nd Symbol of Domination Productions will release Czech Madness, an album-length split by two destructive Czech bands, Khatano and Kundořez, which combines tracks from the debut releases of both groups. Today we’re bringing you one song from each band’s side of the album, preceded by some background information and impressions of these two murderous songs.




Khatano sprang to life in the Czech city of Ostrava in 2012 and released their first demo (Against This System) the next year. Their side of this split includes the 8 songs from that self-released debut. The song we’ve got for you today is a bruiser named “Cross and Halfmoon“.


The no-frills, garage-band sound of the song suits its primal punch, which features a prominent, beefy bass drive, methodical, clobbering drum beats, and hammering, down-tuned riffs. The heavy-grooved death metal elements in the song are paired with hardcore stylings, including raw braying vocals with a bloodthirsty mien. The song also features heavy, swarming tremolo-picked riffs in addition to those head-smashing chords, as well as off-pace interludes that magnify the song’s dismal and homicidal atmosphere.




Kundořez is a two-man project founded in 2015 (also in Ostrava), with a debut CD recorded the same year under the title Ženy na maso!. In addition to an intro and an outro, Ženy na maso! included 8 songs, and all 10 of those tracks make up the Kundořez side of Czech Madness.


The song we’re bringing you today is “Mrdak Menzessní“. Like Khatano, Kundořez integrate elements of death metal and hardcore to produce a viscerally potent beating that’s also infectious. “Mrdak Menzessní” is heavier than a lead weight, with an enormous bass sound, low-tuned riffs, and deep, gravelly death growls mixed with ugly, strangled expressions of venom. It’s primitive, pulsing music, with methodical drumwork that’s not fancy but suits the primal appeal of the song very well. It’s a very dark song, but also includes a flickering, swirling, ethereal lead guitar melody that comes and goes like a poltergeist.


Czech Madness includes almost 49 minutes of music and cover art by Paint-It-Black Design.



This  is  a  review  of  a  split  album  between  Czech  Republic's  Khatano  and  Kundorez  called  "Czech  Madness"  which  was  released  by  Symbol  Of  Domination  Productions  and  we  will  start  off  the  review  with  Khatano  a  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  metal  and  hardcore.


  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  some  violent  soundscapes  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  heavy  direction  that  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  the  vocals  are  a  mixture  of  angry  hardcore  style  shouts  and  death  metal  growls  while  the  riffs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  melody.


  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  their  side  of  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  and  there  side  of  the  split  always  remains  heavy,  the  production  sounds  very professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  violent  and  angry  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Khatano  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death  metal  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "New  Generation"  and  "Hell".


  Next  up  is  Kundorez  another  band  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  metal  and  hardcore.


  Their  side  of  the  split  starts  out  with  a  spoken  intro  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  heavy  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  deep  death  metal  growls  and  after  awhile  the  riffs  incorporate  elements  of  hardcore  and  the  music  has  both  80's  and  90's  influences.


  Grim screams  can  be  heard  at  times  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  of  the  riffing  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  their  native  tongue  and  cover  real  life  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Kundorez  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  death  metal  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Necro  Man"  and  "Kunda'".


  In  conclusion  I  feel  this  is  a  very  great  sounding  split  and  I  would  recommend  it  to  all  fans  of  death  metal  and  hardcore.





And speaking of Anselmo (and to a lesser extent, Exhorder), here we have two “groove” bands out of Czechoslovakia.


Khatano is the more obvious of the two, working BLEEAH BLAH BLUURGH BLEEAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! growly-shout vox somewhere in the Biohazard/Fear Factory/Pantera range over grinding to thunka-thunka riffing. They even have that snappy “bounce” bass right up front throughout (that faux-“funk” thing that afflicted the 90’s scene – think Massacre‘s Second Coming as the most likeable example of this nonsense).


Even so, they manage to come off more…metal, I guess, than 95% of such bands tend to be. Can’t say I was a fan, felt like brain cells were dying with each lumbering neanderthalic riff…but a hell of a lot easier to listen to than fucking Pantera, that’s for damn sure!


Kundorez lays the distortion on thick and works more of a doom/death to grindcore thing vocally and tonally on the guitar end – it’s very in your face and thick.


But then you realize after a few bars that this ain’t death metal at all…they’re doing some bouncy groove/nu metal/overly melodic thing that sounds like grindcore gone pop, but with a 90’s sensibility all over it.


While Kundorez is clearly the weirder of the two bands here and at a very fast glance would appear to be the more “metal” of the two, that’s only on the surface – play a track or two, it becomes glaringly apparent that Khatano is a hell of a lot closer to anything most of us would ever be caught dead listening to than these guys are.


I guess if you took the vocals and guitar tone/production of Kundorez and gave it to the guys in Khatano, you’d have a good death/grind band.


As it stands, you have two really fucking weird “groove” bands trying to bring some very incompatible styles to the annoying Pantera-derived template…and interestingly, it’s Khatano who comes out as the more listenable of the two in the end.




There are people out there that don’t mind split records. I am not one of these. Not unless they come on vinyl so that there is a very clear separation between the two bands. 3 or 4-way splits are a bitch in any which format they come in. This is a split between two Czech bands. And apparently they are very different from each other. KHATANO sound like a hardcore band. I like hardcore. At first I thought I was going to hate KHATANO but I actually found myself digging this. There is a groove to this heaviness that moves it and me. KUNDOREZ are a totally different entity. They are death metal. I have to say that the mix of bands on this split is a strange one. As strange as it seems I actually prefer the hardcore band over the death metal band. And not because the death metal band is bad but simply because the hardcore one is so much better. At least I had no problem telling the bands apart this time.





‘Czech Madness’ is een split CD die wordt bevolkt door (acht nummers) en Kundořez (acht nummers exclusief een in- en outtro). Deze CD werd uitgebracht door Symbol Of Domination. Khatano werd opgericht in 2012 en bevat

(ex-)leden van o.a. Pathologist, Purulent Spermcanal en BloodyObsession. Zij hebben in 2013 de ‘Against This System’ demo uitgebracht. Over Kundořez heb ik eigenlijk niet veel informatie kunnen vinden, behalve dat het niet echt een band is maar een studio project.


De Khatano nummers zijn best saai als je het mij vraagt. Alle nummers klinken ongeveer hetzelfde, het geluid is suboptimaal en ik word niet wijs uit de muzikale richting die deze mannen hebben gekozen. Als je dan toch grindcore besluit te spelen doe het dan tenminste een beetje “over the top” en niet zo braafjes. Met de referenties naar hun vorige bands, had ik hier wat meer van verwacht. Kundořez doet het in dat opzicht een stukje beter. Nummers als ‘Mrdak Menzessni’ of ‘Manzelska Krizze’ knallen als de neten en dan maakt het geen ruk uit of je weet waar ze over zingen (of niet), want dat is nou juist wel weer charmant. Grindcore fans vallen zich geen buil aan dit splitje.