Knosis – The Eternal Doom
Released: November 15, 2023
Ryo Kinoshita // vocals
It is not often that you are there for the beginning of a band, paying attention from the second the first promotional photo or post has dropped- but this year, KNOSIS has been the band right at the top of my interest list. Which is why the moment their second EP, The Eternal Doom, dropped- I was ready to get around it.
Never heard of KNOSIS or are not quite sure what they are about? Here is a little breakdown. KNOSIS are an experimental metalcore project put together by Japanese metalcore titan Ryo Kinoshita and the extremely talented producer/singer Yosh Moriata from The Hide Out Studios Japan/Survive Said The Prophet. Bursting on the scene back at the start of the year the beginning of this collaboration marked Ryo’s return to music.
KNOSIS kicked off the year playing numerous shows around Asia and in March, dropped the first EP The Shattering. Recently though they have been on one of the hottest tours of the year, supporting Stray From The Path. Joining our beloved Australian acts Make Them Suffer and Void of Vision across Europe and the UK, they have been winning new fans all across the continent.
For those who couldn’t attend that insane tour though, The Eternal Doom is out so let’s get into it.
The EP’s opener ‘厄災(Yakusai)’ does not waste time in giving us Ryo’s trademark aggressive style. Playing to his biggest strength, his hardcore vocal style, the music follows suit- smashing us hard. Though it does not stick there long. With a pre-chorus that gives us a rare glimpse of his clean singing, it builds into a classic metalcore chorus. Melodic, emotional and stripped back. ‘Yakusai’ does not sit still though. Between this beautifully heartfelt chorus, we are given moments of heavy before eventually building into one disgusting breakdown. While you can hear a breakdown coming, it takes a direction that will leave you breathless and finishes on some really nasty low gutturals. Let’s not spoil it too much.
Upon hearing the first song, I thought that track was one of the best examples of Ryo’s vocal range. I was wrong. ‘奈落(Naraku)’ takes that cake. Opening with one of the coldest lines, “if you want to stop me, you have to fucking kill me” (Ozark fans will be delighted) and going straight into some blastbeats coated with digital distortion, the verses strip back to focus on Ryo’s scathing lyrics before diving straight into a real pit starter section.
The one thing about this EP is that the songs, while predictable a little in structure, dive into a completely unexpected sonic direction. From digital mini breakdowns to old-school two-stepping sections- the last thing I expected was the pull from black metal. With a section dedicated to shrieks and blast beats, it left me gobsmacked. A lot is going on with this track, but not in a chaotic way. It is like listening to somebody processing their rage and intense feelings over a situation. In a previous interview, Ryo has stated that KNOSIS is his therapy and there is this real sense of purging. A purge of emotions but also a purge of sound.
In juxtaposition of the other two offerings, ‘神喰(Kamigurai)’ feels rather straightforward. This just over-two-minute banger was the first taste of The Eternal Doom, released as a single in July. Loosely translated to god-eater, it is short, sharp and heavy. The bursts of speed are broken up with moments to catch your breath, before plunging into a chorus rife with gang vocals. The only criticism I have of this track is that it is too short!
As a collective though, The Eternal Doom manages to touch all bases in only three songs. Apart from being an absolute showcase in metalcore vocal mastery, it is complex, and dynamic without coming across as pretensions. Never once losing the personality and emotions around the music. The vocals do take front and centre but are supported strongly by the instrumentation that is seeping with whatever mood the lyrics and voice takes. With being only the second major release from these two musical talents, it is safe to say that KNOSIS is not just a flash in pan- they are only getting stronger.
My only issue? I wish there were one more track, but perhaps I am being greedy.
Knosis – The Eternal Doom EP tracklisting