Born during the time of Istanbul’s Gezi Riots in the heated summer of 2013, Kara Cephe was inspired to create their own unique breed of industrial metal which would be the primary vehicle for them to express their political views. Band mates Tanju Can and Mert Yildiz, both of Slavic descent, are based in Istanbul, Turkey – a nation with an anti-secular, pro-Islamic leader. Two of the three tracks on this EP rally against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his policies.
“Tanri” (“God?”) plays against soundbites of an Islamic preacher who declares all music is evil and should be banned. Can’s lyrics question God and his place in a world of extremist views. “Kara Pazartesi” (“Black Monday”) is a response to how Erdoğan’s government conspired against secular army officials and their eventual opposition to Erdoğan. Kara Cephe cleverly uses samples of Erdoğan himself, in separate speeches where he contradicts himself, in addition to other damning bits taken from other sources. Both “Tanri” and “Kara Pazartesi” were written within days of the Gezi Riots and the songs’ intensity levels show as the result of it. These topics, so obviously opposite of the prevailing powers, showcase Kara Cephe raging against their particular machine–a hallmark of artists that I have come to appreciate.
“Oyun Bitti” (“Game Over”) treads into rather normal territory for any industrial metal band; its theme revolves around the end of the world and is based upon John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.
Kara Cephe has struck a chord in me with their sounds. Shades of early industrial metal shine through, especially with the drum programming. The guitar work is meaty, thick, and dead center, taking a prominent place in Kara Cephe’s sound. Sharp rhythms stab at the bass lines, which are themselves interspersed with punctuating, feedback-laden lead lines. Can’s vocals work well into the mix and are a bit more melodic than I’d expect from a metal band, showing he can do more than sing in an ultra low baritone. While retaining a “metal” style, I love the death metal vocals as they alternate against the guitars and drums. As their presence over top of otherwise stark industrial tracks ensues, one can’t help but be reminded of the unorthodox style that Cadaverous Condition have been performing for many years within the folk spectrum.
Perhaps it’s my age showing, but “Kara Pazartesi” makes me flashback to the early days of Front 242, albeit with the addition of guitars. However, the drumming, samples, and overall tone of the track restores my faith in industrial music. “Oyun Bitti” finishes off the EP decidedly on a slower note with piano and choir voicing, perhaps to show another side of the duo. I wanted the sonic attack of the first two tracks to continue, but I suppose I’ll need to wait until the full-length album, entitled Unutulanlar, comes out in 2015 on Corvus Records.
02) Kara Pazartesi
03) Oyun Bitti