Kever is an atmospheric OSDM-outfit from the underground metal scene in Israel. Despite Primordial Offerings being only the second of two EPs currently available by the group, it’s clear to see that their tenure as ambassadors of the Israeli scene has provided them with ample tools to carve out a promising lane in the Death metal underground. Their style can best be described as an updated take on the classic sounds of Morbid Angel and Death, featuring some studio embellishments by way of keys and choir vocals.
“Intro: Primordial Offerings” makes for a fitting introduction to the EP of the same name. We’re first met with a clanging, alarming 30-second soundscape providing a panoramic view of the newly-razed hellscape of some recent civilization. Steel rods poke out of piles of concrete while trills and peals of bells fill the air between the crumbling high-rises. The background radiation of this scene stays with us through the record as Kever fleshes out the different elements of their sound throughout the following four tracks.
“Lords of Karma” is the first proper track, introducing all the stylistic traits of the underground act. The usual blasting, rolling and reinforced tremolo-riffing of the Florida-sound meets with the sky-trailing leads of mid-period Death. The delayed, reverbed and boosted guitar solo is evidence of the modern studio setting, and so are the various atmospheric touches of pads, keys and choral vocals scattered around the EP. The production is meaty and punishing; clear and crisp without draining the band of necessary grit. The drums are balanced and punchy, and the often multitracked vocals are imposing in their mid-range ferocity. The only casualty of the mixing is the bass, which although audible for parts of the EP largely slaps about in the distance like the ghost of an enraged salmon.
Next comes “Back from the Netherworld” blasting out of the gate like an armored SWAT officer shield-surfing over the bodies of his massacred unit. The track stays true to the sound of the band while injecting some bounce and swagger into its DNA. “Act of Oblation” furthers this development with some groove-adjacent riffs that sound like a Pantera raised on Bolt Thrower’s War Master. The multifaceted song slows down for an apocalyptic and doomy-bridge, before beating the listener over the head with a calcified twinkie for its final minutes.
The EP ends with “The Ceremony”, the longest song of the bunch. The song is by far the most varied of the five, featuring billowing synths; Seasons in the abyss’ ominous, chiming guitars; even a D-beat section in the midst of it all. Structuring all of these disparate elements turns out to be a bit of the challenge for the group, as the track comes across as a bit disjointed. This is the only particularly noticeable misstep on the record though, and it’s a minor one at that.
Kever has crafted a promising extended player, that stands as a solid experience on its own while pointing towards the possibilities yet unexplored for the band. The skillful handling of the varied material on the EP makes it apparent that the Israelites have the chops needed to assemble a compelling full-length project. Whatever Kever decides to do next, I will make sure to grab any future records upon release. If you have a 23-minute opening in your listening schedule, I would advise you to give Primordial Offerings a listen.