I stumbled over Kitshickers from Luxembourg early in the year, exploring pre-orders from bands and artists. I found the PledgeMusic mission for Kitshickers, and I just couldn’t ignore a band that would give proceeds from their crowdfunding efforts, Liter of Light their chosen charity.
Admittedly, from Kitshickers’ previous albums available on Spotify, I didn’t connect to the music, only enjoying a few tracks. Something was missing for me and I wasn’t quite sure what it was, because I can’t deny they had written solid work. The Orion Constellation was Kitshickers’ second work created as a conceptual album, and Horror Vacui was their first crowdfunded album, also conceptual.
With III.O, however, I am not sure I can put my thoughts into words to explain the stunning work Kitshickers has written and recorded.
Consisting of only six tracks, III.O by Kitshickers is a complete experience, truly a conceptual album. I made the mistake of first listening to the album while working and even at the gym, and my disconnection ruined it. I thought there was a lack of flow both within the songs and between them, but having listened two more times while working, and finally just laying down on the floor after a long week and putting in my earphones… I finally listened to III.O, and as their guitarist and samplist Gilles Heinisch expects for their release show, it was- surprising.
The album opens with the track “Birth.Early Years.Void,” and as the title implies, there are indeed roughly three parts within the song, what I first thought lacked flow within itself. I now feel the track itself is a whole story alone, easily a live feat to witness.
A short few seconds demand your attention which leads to an attractive growth of tribal percussion, synth, and guitars. We are then gifted incredible clean vocals by Yann Dalscheid (An Apple a Day). I can safely say Dalscheid’s voice found the perfect instrumental musicians and his new band members found the perfect vocals for their sound. His rough vocals are teased until the last part of the track, where a darker, almost sinister feel takes over and we hear his rough ‘metal vocals’ for what they are. Even as such- they are steady and consistent in sound. The track comes to an end with a faster pace and a different range of those rough vocals.
“Awareness I” -quite possibly my favorite in all of III.O– is an instrumental composed of a guitar-oriented opening with minimal percussion, which leads into a powerful composition of both; within it all, we have a gorgeous cello laced in, performed by Lisa Berg. Personally, it left me as an emotional wreck without a single word, that split, half-second of all instruments cut towards the end like missing a heartbeat.
The third track, “Growth,” brings back tribal percussion, an odd but working combination of that, synth and guitars again leading us into vocals, the entire sound turning alluring. There is an impressive, sudden turn into a synthetic piece with another turn back to the overall structure of the song, the track then showing off the impeccable timing of alternating between clean and rough vocals. The switching between the two styles feels natural, much like in “Rise.”
“Rise” starts much slower with clean vocals but works up into an incredible work of guitars and percussion together with rougher vocals, dropping at the end into a beautiful flow of guitars and synthetic elements Kitshickers have not- and should not- let go of.
“Awareness II. Peace,” unlike its sister track “Awareness I,” includes vocals on the track and does not have an obvious connection for the names- perhaps accounting for the subtitle “Peace,” it does somehow manage to keep you on the same plane despite the fast and steady rhythm and climbs into a rough feel, ending with both clean and rough vocals; but within it all, there is an instrumental that resets. Like a reset in which you are dropped beneath the plane before being pulled back up onto it.
Kitshickers’ III.O ends with “Mindfulness.” As cliché as it might sound, especially because of the track title, it ended up being indescribable. As a matter of fact, it would be a pity being able to write down the feelings personally experienced listening to it. To each listener their own ending for III.O