Lřsning, Denmark, 1991
The second demo from a relatively new Danish band by the slightly odd name Konkhra* is released and I send 40 Danish Crowns to Copenhagen in order to get hold of it. I liked the first tape a lot. It was death metal and thrash mixed nicely together for the time. The scene back then…well, the most prominent underground bands around were Invocator and Rigid Domain and…well, not so many apart from that.
‘Malgrowth’, as the demo was entitled, was heavy as fuck. Right down my alley so to speak. The band were soon picked up by the budding Progress Label, later to become DieHard, and a debut CD was released. This was the beginning of the career of one of the better death metal bands out of Denmark.
*At some later point one of the now former members of the band offered the explanation to me that it was derived from Tom Angelripper’s announcement of the track ‘Conqueror’ on the Sodom live double LP ‘Mortal Way of Live’ (1988) which, and this is very true, sounds as if he indeed says ‘Konkhra!’
Odense, Denmark, 1996
During the day leading up their support gig for Napalm Death at Rytmeposten in Odense, Denmark, where I used to work, vocalist and guitarist Anders Lundemark enters the room with gleaming eyes and pronounces with joy that he’s been jamming Terrorizer songs with Jesse Pintado. You can tell how the man is loves the music. This is heavy fucking metal. Konkhra have released two of coolest Danish metal albums for years – ‘Sexual Affective Disorder’ (1993) and ‘Spit or Swallow’ (1994) and the self-confidence is high.
Copenhagen, Denmark, 1999
As they take to the stage, Konkhra seem worn and tired. The diminishing enthusiasm amongst the crowd who are mainly there to see Megadeth overtakes the band in no time. It borders on the insufferable to watch. ‘Come Down Cold’, a dreadful affair of an album, from the same year seems to be the swan song for this band.
The band I had considered dead and gone returns with a vengeance with the mighty metal Leviathan ‘Reality Check’. Metal the way Testament does it on ‘Demonic’. No lives are spared, a band is reborn.
And now, almost four years later, Konkhra is back with another first class CD.
The intro of the album is an appropriate full stop to Georg Bush’s reign as he’s been hauled through the sampling machine once again. The result is hilarious but sadly not entirely untrue.
The rest of the album is not hilarious at all. Konkhra play serious music and touch upon heavy themes. Konkhra anno 2009 still maintain a lot of the Testament feel which in my book is great. They are far from clones, though, as Anders Lundemark and his cohorts have a slightly different approach to especially the sound and the variation of themes.
‘Nothing Is Sacred’ is a good, varied effort and offers a surprise or two, e.g. in the shape of a female vocal on the track The promise of Antagonism.
You get blast speed material, you get rocking material, heads down thrash and death, the whole spectre of death thrash, with Lundemark growling and screaming desperately on top of it all.
This is death thrash done performed intelligently, yet with power and brutality.
This release confirms that Konkhra lives and still has it in them. It’s a joy to hear. Full speed ahead. Amen.