Wednesday 24 November 2021

Kiken - Rising

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 22 Mar 2016


1. Blood Moon

2. Killer Instincts

3. SHI Hounds From The Darkest Star

4. Nest

5. The Rising/The Hunt

6. Red Rooms

7. Aphillion

8. Oracle No End

I'm back on the ZBR trail again, this time with Canadian duo Kiken and their album Rising that was released in 2016 via Dingleberry Records and the aforementioned Zegema Beach Records. This album followed the band's two-song EP Instructions, which was released about a year earlier. The duo behind Kiken are most notably linked with bands such as Life In Vacuum and Congratulations, though compared to the screamo approach of those two bands, Kiken is considered to be a cross between post-punk/hardcore and maybe mathcore. I'm also sorry for delaying this post slightly. I've been waiting for a package from the US and it's arrived in my locality, but the local delivery company is having trouble finding me.

Rising is made up fo eight songs that don’t last all that long. In fact the album opener ‘Blood Moon’ is the longest by far, at just over six minutes. What’s presented here is a strange, cosmic-like beast filled with grind, screamo and bizarre noise sampled in between. It pulsates and disrupts your brain right from the off. I really don’t know what else to say at this point. It’s like the aural equivalent of watching an old episode of Dr. Who. The choral singing at the mid-point does nothing to shake that notion either. I guess it could be considered false grind before false grind was a thing (but then again that would be doing Kiken a disservice).

Don’t let that opening track fool you, as from here on in it’s a lot faster and crazier. ‘Killer Instincts’ comes and goes in a little over thirty seconds of drum/bass/screamy madness. ’SHI Hounds From The Darkest Star’ is equally as bass-heavy and it hammers home just how hard it is to truly appreciate this release in one sitting. There’s a lot more technicality going on than you might give Kiken credit for, but it works really well all the same.

Kiken’s penchant for short and weirdly noisy interludes like ’Nest’ break up the album, yet there’s a pause in momentum that’s obvious as well. Thankfully ‘The Rising/The Hunt’ comes thick and fast afterwards, with it’s raw vocals and odd song structure. It’s bass-heavy tone gives off a psych-ish tone that’s pretty easy on the ear, if you like that type of sound. The closing sixty seconds are equally as mind-expanding too, except this time Kiken fills the bars with tropical bird song and (maybe) indigenous instrumentation.

‘Red Rooms’ is as disturbing as the suggestion that such rooms exist in the uncharted chasms of the Internet, though thankfully it’s only a short glimpse into that bleak chasm. It does however bleed into penultimate song ‘Aphillion’, which is much more sludgy and doom-like than anything else on Rising so far. The added use of children’s vocals (at least I hope they’re not adult vocals with extra helium!), make things a little bit more sinister to say the least.

Album closer ‘Oracle No End’ features some downright scary choral vocals, maybe, before some equally strange electronic effects that build and then fade in quick succession. This album is not what you’d ordinarily expect from ZBR, yet it’s also a strange breath of fresh air too. It was probably seen as a record way before it’s time when it saw the light of day, but it seems to make more sense now for sure. If you’re after something out of left field, this will be for you.

You can stream and download Rising directly from Kiken below:-

Kiken -

Physical copies can still be purchased from the labels below:-

Zegema Beach Records CAN/INTL -

Zegema Beach Records USA -

Dingleberry Records -

Zegema Beach Records -

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