“A Grand Misconception” is a gift to us from Kalpa, a staunchly DIY metallic hardcore quintet from Athens, Greece. Arriving three years after “Dissociation”, which demonstrated a much sludgier sound, the time in the wilderness has enabled Kalpa to hone their craft. I’ll admit, living in Tasmania meant that I was not familiar with Kalpa and their music prior to being sent the record, but I am greatly impressed.
The eight tracks on here demonstrate Kalpa’s proficiency and mastery of their stye. Whilst the first two tracks blew past quite quickly, it is in the centre that the record really hits its stride. The drumming is frenetic and the riffs are furious; akin to Pariso, Trap Them or The Secret (or the extremely Converge-esque melodic riffs that busts through in It’s Not Always About You and opens Open Parties, Empty Streets). Vocally, “A Grand Misconception” is unrelenting, a bleak portrayal of the struggles of modern life and the nihilism that results through engaging with the world and other people.
Lots of bands can play fast and demonstrate their technicality, but where Kalpa distinguish themselves from the herd is through the melody that runs throughout “A Grand Misconception”. It is this embrace of melody that keeps this record engaging throughout its entirety and whilst the hard
parts in No Discount makes me want to bang my head against the wall, for me the record’s highlight came in the form of the closing (and title) track. The final song, A Grand Misconception, takes the technicality, speed and heaviness Kalpa excel in and offer a slightly more expansive version of it,
showing a debt to bands like Downfall of Gaia and Fall of Efrafa, before the record ascends to a finish with a passionate cry of ‘How much fight do you still have inside you?’
Kalpa have crafted a great record in “A Grand Misconception”, one that is furious and unrelenting, which definitely holds its own amongst a sea of metallic hardcore in that regard. More than that, however, the more melodic moments on the record demonstrate that Kalpa are willing to push
beyond and engage with different sounds to create something unique, which makes me very excited to see what they come up with next.