ARTIST: Kings of Improg
ALBUM NAME: ‘Henosis’
RELEASE DATE: May 2017
COUNTRY: South Africa
GENRE: Progressive/Pyschedelic/Jayy Ifused/Blues Rock/Jam Band
Guiatar- Lloyd Mckeen
Bass- Byron Muller
Drums- Slade du Randt
Guitar- Chad Snell
Hailing from Benoni, Kings of Improg are an instrumental progressive rock band. The four-piece outfit formed in 2012 when Byron Muller invited a group of talented and eager musicians for a “jam” session at his place. Initially there was no structure as to what the band was doing, therefore it was a very organic and honest process – everyone would go pick their chosen instrument and just begin improvising some creative tunes.
After perfecting their progressive sound, their debut album Henosis came about. This six-track album runs just over 46 minutes, like an epic tale to which the listener gets to experience a journey of ambiance and atmosphere with celestial-like tones. The word Henosis is derived from the Greek word for mystical “oneness”, “union”, or “unity”. In broad terms, it’s a connectedness of one and all, living and otherwise, in this mass conundrum that is our Universe.
The album’s opening track Ferrum starts off with a white-noise-like ambient backing, the track then moves on to produce jolting and jumping riffs with energetic percussion. The bass line is reminiscent of djent origin, and effortlessly weaves itself into the track towards the end which Infectiously draws the listener in. The transitioning between tracks is so well done that it gives one the impression of being in another plain where stars burst and fizzle… Keymaker, the second track off the album, begins with a slow pace which gradually picks up tempo and flows into a metallic chugging. Glorious! Each cymbal crashes through both the bass and guitars, not letting up for a second. Slade Du Randt’s power behind the buckets is quite poignant and the listener can’t help but sit back in admiration for the effort put into this piece. The highlight track of the album, Gaea, starts off with KOI’s now familiar picking style. The dedication and electrifying tempo which switches between notes displays a technicality of jaw-droppingly proficient mastery. There is a fluid and funky slap bass that has the listener tapping their feet along. It feels at this point of the album, as if each track is here to tell a story – and Gaea is where the album begins to delve deep.
In conclusion Henosis is a concise and well thought out album that showcases the creativity, blood,sweat and tears of KOI. The debut is a solid and coherent journey, no song feels out of place. It could be likened to a technical adventure. In other words, masterfully delivered gents!
Reviewed by: Cayden Nel
Photography supplied by: Kings of Improg
Date: October 2017