Psych metal trio Kurokuma share new single ‘Crux Ansata’

Psych metal trio Kurokuma share new single ‘Crux Ansata’

20th June 2024 0 By Jon Deaux
Vicious psych trio Kurokuma has shared the 2nd single from their upcoming new album ‘Of Amber and Sand’. While their Sanford Parker-recorded debut, ‘Born of Obsidian’ dug deep into the ancient history of Mesoamerican civilizations, ‘Of Amber and Sand’ is based on the colossal concept of time, each track dealing with a different facet of temporality and eternity, probing its significance to creation, civilization and the human experience. Drummer Joe Allen comments on their new single ‘Crux Ansata’, 
“Crux Ansata is the Coptic name of the Egyptian ankh or symbol of life. Lyrically it’s based on the idea that we are born and given a certain amount of time to work with, and this time is the one thing that we can’t give away to others or take more of for ourselves. It’s the most precious thing we have because once it’s gone, everything is gone, and we have no way of replenishing it. We can make healthy choices etc, and avoid danger, but in the end, we can’t control it and we only have as much as we have. And it’s this idea that everyone is born rich with it, yet at the end of our lives even the most wealthy and powerful person cannot take anymore to extend theirs, whilst a poor infant is still luxuriously rich with it.”

Listen to ‘Crux Ansata’ now:/

 Kurokuma brought a fresh heaviness to the extreme music scene in 2022 with their debut album, ‘Born of Obsidian’. On 9th August the genre-mashing threesome will return with their new record, ‘Of Amber and Sand’. 
But it’s not sludge, it’s not doom, it’s not death metal. It’s Kurokuma. 
Musically, the band has drawn influence from the instruments, melodies, and rhythms of the Middle East/Balkans on this release. Guitarist and vocalist, Jake Mazlum explains: 
“In terms of my own relationship with the new musical elements, it’s complicated. I’m an Orthodox Christian from the Muslim world, an immigrant to the UK, and a more recent immigrant to the Balkans, where ironically I feel like I fit in culturally more than anywhere else. Much of my family is ethnically Armenian but now resides in Turkey, where I spent the first few years of my life there. 
My relationship with these ‘ethnic’ musical styles is a mix of appreciation for what they are, a familiarity due to their imposition in my life in various ways, and a very conscious detachment from the cultures, places and values that – like all art – deeply informs them.“ 
The geographical influences, as well as the subject of time, are combined and reflected in the album title; ‘Of Amber and Sand’ is a metaphor the band came up with, fleshed out and visualized in the artwork by Sheffield illustrator, Mila K. 
Here ‘sand’ and its abundance represent infinite time, while ‘amber’ represents one moment – amber is known for capturing insects and preserving them. Joe explains: 
“The mantis trapped in amber on the cover, it’s been there potentially millions of years, preserved and unmoving while civilizations have come and gone. Species have been born into being, evolved, and become extinct – yet this mantis is frozen in that one pose. A snapshot relic of the past to be admired throughout history. This motif sums up a lot of what the album is about.”
‘Of Amber and Sand’ is a much more ‘metal’ and muscular album in comparison to their debut – one that feels faster and more urgent, taking nods from a variety of artists ranging from Nailbomb, Morbid Angel, and System of A Down to Omar Souleyman, Barış Manço and the genre of dabke. Joe adds: 
“We made a conscious effort to get a ‘real’ sound on this recording. We wanted to avoid any over-production and use of triggers and samples where possible. Saying that we do think the sound is a big step up from Born of Obsidian.” 
Originally active from 2014, the band has been based in the UK up until now, but 2024 sees them very much operating internationally, with only bassist Zakk still residing in the UK. With Jake relocating to Bulgaria, Joe is living as a digital nomad, currently in Albania. He adds that Kurokuma is still very much a band but that “this lifestyle choice was driven in part by wanting to avoid burning out on doing the same things over and over as a UK-based band, and as a promoter. I wanted to get away and see some more of the world, but making this album happen has proven we can still function as Kurokuma while all in different places.” 
After the release of ‘Born of Obsidian’ in 2022, Kurokuma went on to perform at Desertfest London, Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic and Damnation Festival, as well as touring Central Europe. 
Recorded at Stuck On A Name in Nottingham with Boulty, ‘Of Amber and Sand’ is self-released by the band on 9th August and is available on CD, vinyl and digitally. 

Pre-order now:

Kurokuma are: Jacob Mazlum (guitar/vocals), Joe Allen (drums), Zakk Wells (bass/vocals)

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