Prog metal generally slots into two categories for me: on one hand, some bands seem to design their music for maximum mind-melting, planning out each tempo change and key shift with the aim of pushing the envelope and destroying fans' hopes of tabbing out the guitar bits. In other cases, such as with Germany's Khaima, the progressive leanings don't feel like a purposeful focus, just an outcome of the band's talent and their desire to communicate complex ideas. Coming from the upcoming album Owing To The Influence, their new single "Extrapolation" presents a brand of progressive metal that employs twisted, unconventional riffing and driving swells to overwhelm listeners through both precision and persuasion. We're premiering the video for it, which will take care of any needed brain destruction. Take a look (and listen) now:



The extra beats and unorthodox subdivisions that scaffold each part of "Extrapolation" create an odd cadence with a bouncy, unstoppable feel: a sense of inertia that carries each section into the next. This momentum is a collaborative effort between all members of the band, not just guitar-centric flashiness. While guitar dominates the heaviest passages with hypnotic spiral riffs, the rattling bass offers a tenuous handhold to withstand them. In the lulls, though, the exacting minimalism of the drumming is its own focal point -- subtle ghost notes and a stubborn avoidance of predictability requires constant alertness, waiting for the next snare drum hit to land. In the coda of the song, keyboards take on added significance, easing out of the shadows for a strong finish. As this all unfolds, the accompanying video intermixes bizarre imagery with the band performing the song, often overlaid -- it's pretty easy to let all the complexities of the song slip out of your mental grasp and just let yourself get lost in the perpetual motion, both aural and visual.

While the heaviness and intricacy here can't be overlooked, there are strong conceptual ideas here, not just clever rhythms -- Khaima has noteworthy things to say, not just compelling ways to say them. Regarding "Extrapolation," the band notes:

We count, simulate, histogram almost everything and relativize the results until the overall picture corresponds to our own imagination. Mainly for our own interests, we instrumentalize them in order to stand out and put ourselves in a better light, instead of confronting the core of the problem. The symptoms are pushed to the fore and the cause is ignored. Populism, conspiracy theories, fake news, alternative facts - our reality unfortunately depends too often on the point of view of the observer.


"Owing to the Influence" releases October 30th via Barhill Records.

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