Review by Pinka Kugathas
Hailing from the bustling city of Los Angeles, KRASHKARMA undeniably stands as one of the most accomplished duos within the metal panorama. Their remarkable achievements speak volumes. With a staggering 3 million views on their YouTube channel, a devoted fanbase exceeding 100,000 followers on Facebook, and a powerful presence on over 600 stages worldwide. Now poised to unveil their highly anticipated sixth studio album, the aptly titled “Falling To Pieces”, slated for release in June 2023 via Rockshots Records. This dynamic duo is ready to deliver a sonic experience that will leave a lasting impact.
But KRASHKARMA is far more than just impressive statistics. They distinguish themselves as a rarity in the metal scene, with a female drummer and vocalist commanding the rhythm from behind the kit, the vivacious Niki Skistimas. Her captivating vocals exude an irresistible allure that mesmerizes listeners. Complementing her energy is guitarist/bassist and co-vocalist Ralf Dietel, infusing their sonic creations with life through his unique Frankenstein guitar/bass hybrid. Together, their synergy generates a sound that is both immense and vibrant, crafting an auditory journey that defies conventions and stands as a testament to their artistry.
The album kicks off with “Falling Into Pieces,” the title track of the record. The synergy between the male (Ralf Dietel) and female vocals (Niki Skistimas) intertwines seamlessly, creating a dynamic and electrifying opening. Moving on, “15 Minutes of Pain” immediately showcases the hard-hitting drums that drive the song with relentless energy. The same high level of intensity can be found in “Survive the Afterlife,” where Ralf Dietel‘s aggressive vocals merge flawlessly with Niki Skistimas‘, making it one of the most memorable tracks on the album.
“Tap Dancing Through Minefields” captivates from the start, with Niki‘s angelic voice contrasting Ralf‘s harsh and aggressive vocals. This song showcases the versatility of Ralf‘s aggressive delivery. “Last Rites” follows a more classic metal style reminiscent of bands in the genre. “Voodoo Devil Drums” bursts forth with captivating energy, serving as a seamless transition from the previous track and keeping listeners engaged. Its infectious energy is reminiscent of some of Butcher Babies‘ tracks, with whom KRASHKARMA is currently touring.
“How God Lost Her Virginity” takes an unexpected turn with an acoustic guitar intro and Niki‘s clean and angelic vocals, creating a poignant ballad that surprises after the preceding tracks. However, the ballad takes a twist, evolving into a more energetic sound before returning to Niki‘s clean vocals in ballad form. The result is a beautiful and unexpected composition. “Orphans in Zombieland” shines with its vibrant energy, making one curious how the duo would translate this sound onto the stage.
“Shut Up” boasts a rhythmic and powerful drumming that captivates, complemented by fantastic guitar riffs and an engaging exchange between male and female vocals. “Fireball” starts slowly, allowing Niki to showcase her vocal range. “mONSTERS eXIT tHE hOPELESS” maintains a slower pace, with Ralf unexpectedly delivering clean vocals that suit the ballad, later joined by Niki‘s voice. “Before The World Moved On” serves as the closing track, initially hinting at a ballad with its acoustic guitar intro, only to erupt with pounding drums and guitar riffs, once again capturing the energetic essence of KRASHKARMA.
With their impressive musicianship and undeniable chemistry, KRASHKARMA has created a sonic experience that defies expectations and leaves a lasting impact. It’s a thrilling and enjoyable ride, and I eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this remarkable duo.
- Niki Skistimas – Drums/Vocals
- Ralf Dietel – Guitar/Bass/Vocals
- Falling To Pieces
- 15 Minutes Of Pain
- Survive The Afterlife
- Tap Dancing Through Minefields
- Last Rites
- Voodoo Devil Drums
- How God Lost Her Virginity
- Orphans In Zombieland
- Shut Up
- mONSTERS eXIT tHE hOPELESS
- Before The World Moved On