The Kandidate

Facing The Imminent Prospect Of Death

Written by: AP on 20/02/2012 16:41:57

The Kandidate popped up on Danish radar screens exactly two years ago with their debut album "Until We Are Outnumbered". What caught people's attention then was that the band features Jacob Bredahl, the former long-time vocalist of Hatesphere, among its ranks, but ultimately the record mustered up little more than processed Gothenburg riffs and aggression à la The Haunted with no real original touch to the music. Much has changed since: The Kandidate has toured the world with renowned international acts such as Entombed, Gaza, Trap Them and Volbeat, and taken the time to shape a more personal style for the sophomore offering, "Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death".

Although the hardcore element still reigns strong in the band's music, songs like "Beyond the Mind, Sleep You'll Find" and "Total War" see the band distill additional influence from Southern flavored groups like Crowbar and forge a variant of death/thrash that sounds their own. Similarities to other artists in the domestic scene - Hatesphere and Blood Label to mention a few - are inescapable of course, as The Kandidate deals in the same sort of groove laden riffs and energetic rhythms, but listening to a song like "Modvind", sung entirely in the band's native tongue, the differences are just as easy to note.

The key point of distinction is that here the influence of death metal has been toned down, while the band's hardcore tendencies have been brought forth, resulting in songs that, while unquestionably heavy, are a far cry from the malicious animosity of their peers. That is not to say that aggression is not key in The Kandidate's music, for pieces like "Let the Maggots Have It" and "Standing on the Cliffs of Madness" are full of it, but the overall impression that I get listening to this stuff is that somehow the songs are less hellbent and eerie, and more keen on the kind of vehemence that prospers in the hardcore scene.

Still, although there is plenty of face-melting brutality and tasteful riffs on offer on this album, the one thing that the songs still tend to lack are those revelatory moments that stick permanently. Ironically, is is in the shorter and simpler assaults of "Fucked in the Search for Life", "Disillusionized", "Dommedag" and "The Knives Spit" towards the end of the album that The Kandidate distinguish themselves with a readily identifiable red chord and thus manage to create a memory imprint. So even though improvements still need to be made if The Kandidate hopes to forge a lasting presence in the international market, "Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death" is a significant step in the right direction after a lackluster debut.

Its strengths lie in the awesome production, handled by Bredahl himself, and in the clearly defined direction of most of the songs. The Kandidate are not in the business of blowing minds with complex arrangements, inhuman musicianship or novel ideas, but the relentlessly heavy onslaught that it delivers from beginning to end is the kind of old school violence everybody needs once in a while.

Download: Total War, Let the Maggots Have It, Fucked in the Search for Life, Dommedag, The Knives Spit
For the fans of: Blood Label, Hatesphere, The New Low
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.01.2012
Napalm Records

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