Liv Sin: KaliYuga (Brutal Planet Review)

2023 is starting out with a bang, a big fucking bang! Liv Sin and her band are releasing their third album called KaliYuga. I asked her about the title, and it was a pretty  simple answer. She said, “In Hinduism they believe in the 4 “Yugas” which are different periods of time. The fourth one is called “KaliYuga” and it’s the one with most chaos and turbulence. We are right now in the KaliYuga one according to their counting and have been for many thousands of years. I felt it suited well how I see the developments in the world right now but also suited my lyrics, which are pretty dark.”

As Sister Sin disbanded it was unclear what Liv would do. It wasn’t long before we had the answer. It was 2017’s Follow Me. In 2019 when Burning Sermons was released, a shift could be heard in the music. Instead of being a straightforward metal album, hints of orchestration and symphonic elements were added. This enhanced the music with a larger-than-life sound. Never compromised were the signature vocals we all had grown to love from Liv.

This brings us to 2023, and KaliYuga. A beautiful mix of both worlds has been struck. Riffs heavy as the last two albums, and continuing symphonic elements enhancing things musically and vocally.

KaliYuga begins with the first single on the album called “The Process.” The song starts with a hammering beat and then stutters, stops, and restarts with the vicious voice of Liv in the listener’s ear. The song integrates symphonic elements while holding true to the metal foundation of Liv Sin. “Antihero“ is next, and only elevates the heavy beats and riffs. The chorus continues the symphonic infusion, and drummer Per Bjelovuk deserves major props on this song. His drum work rises to the top, as well as the song “King of Fools” with its galloping beat. 

The album goes from galloping to a marching beat with “Forget My Name.” This catchy song has a great almost early Accept beat to it. Any sense of civility is thrown out the door with “Karma.”  The frantic pace and beat of the song are only held together by the keyboard mixed into the song. My favorite part of this song is coming out of the guitar solo and the bass thumping by Daniel Skoglund. Lyrically you just can’t go wrong with “Karma’s a Bitch!”

At this point is when my favorite song on the album is unveiled. “I Am The Storm” is an epic beast featuring orchestration and an opening reminiscent of a Jon Carpenter score. The introduction gives way to a punch in the face, courtesy of screaming guitars provided by Patrick Ankermark and Jay Matharu. The auditory storm calms momentarily as Liv delivers her peaceful vocal verse. The song continues its crescendo and coming out of the guitar solo the auditory climax is grasped amidst screaming vocals and hammering drums.  Let there be no doubt that in 2023 this will be one of my favorite songs and is my new favorite replacing “Hope Begins to Fade” from Burning Sermons. 

The album continues with “Virus.” The song moves from dapper vocals to heavy and in your face, heightened by ripping guitar. Another of my favorite songs comes in the form of D.E.R., short for Destroy, Extinct, Repeat. The song features fellow Swede Eleine of the symphonic metal band Eleine on background vocals. The song is a duet of sorts as it also features another fellow Swede, Zak Tell from Clawfinger.  He is the perfect voice to compliment Liv in the song.   As with previous songs, this one also incorporates the subtle use of symphonics to enhance the lyrics which are a warning to us all:
 “With Blood on our hands
We’ll walk away
We brace ourselves
While we wait for the break
There’s no return
From the damage we’ve done
Will this forever be our legacy
Destroy, Extinct, Repeat.”

Just when you think it is all over, things reprise for another crushing verse. 

“The Swarm” continues the upfront pounding in your face.  This song features some killer keyboards intertwined throughout, which gives it a bit of a villainous feel.

Last, but certainly not least, is “Horizon in Black.” The song starts like a music box that turns twisted as it progresses into the opening riffs. It is one of the fewer slower melodic tracks on the album. That being said, it is heavy as it gets, and is gut punch from the opening riff to its fade.

KaliYuga is a great way to start 2023, and what better band to bring this beast to the world than Liv Sin. The combination of heavy gut punching riffs, and Liv’s menacing vocals will earn it a spot on my top ten of 2023. It will be unleashed to the world on January 27, 2023, via Mighty Music. Check this album out, you will not be disappointed at all.