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Review: Korean Heavy Metal Band Jambinai's Album 'Difference' Is A Wonderful, Weird World Of Sound [VIDEO]

By Colin Langenus | March 17, 2014 04:26 PM EDT

Heavy metal truly has no borders.

Once you add the heavy metal distortion, that guitar could have been played anywhere.

Metal was most likely invented in England, but it spread like wild fire, arguably becoming the most universally popular music worldwide.

It's everywhere!

While hip-hop has had a similar worldwide explosion, we know where it came from (the South Bronx) and can easily tell where a rapper is from. As primarily a vocal music, we can hear the language that the MC is rapping in.

But with metal, those drums and guitars could be coming from South America, Asia, Europe or anywhere. And the language the lyrics are in rarely reveals the band's origin in any sort of definitive way.

Yet, metal band Jambinai seems like they could only have come from Korea.

The group, who performed earlier last week at the Austin, Texas-based music festival South By Southwest, combines progressive experimental metal with traditional Korean instruments like the geomungo and haegeum. Gosh, it sounds good together.

And, boy, are they weird!

This music is bonkers. And when I say weird and bonkers, I mean that as high praise. They combine very avant-garde composition and instrumentation to create quite a mood, both dark and welcoming.

Their 2012 record, "Difference," plays like a concept record.

The individual tracks merit their own discussion, but as an album, and I'm a fan of albums, it really sucks you in. When you are listening to Jambinai, you are in their world. Their music is deep.

I think that they have got to be one of the most adventurous bands in the world right now.

There are other experimental metal and even folk metal bands doing it all over the world, but it sure does work in Jambinai's case.

And I think the combination of Korean folk instruments with the screaming guitars and pounding drums fit together particularly well. They hit the nail on the head! How'd they do that?

I particularly like the track "Salvation." They're playing goddamn thrash with the goddamn acoustic traditional instruments! This song also features vocals which sound way weird and awesome. Then they get all repetitive and droney and fucking trippy. Hell yeah!

Another great song on the album is "Connection" which is a good example of their atmospheric pieces.

Both beautiful and triumphant, "Connection" clocks in at almost ten minutes long, and it is worth it. The piece builds and builds, using gorgeous textures and repetition.

It's a fitting close to a great record.

To check out a live clip of Jambinai RIGHT HERE

You can purchase "Difference" or listen to album excerpts HERE

Colin Langenus is a guitarist and songwriter in several groups including Colin L. Orchestra, CSC Funk Band, and Usaisamonster. He also produces and engineers at his recording studio in Brooklyn. 

Tagged :  Jambinai, Korean heavy metal

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