Local death metal faction, KYOKTYS, formed in mid-2010 thanks to a flurry of ideas centralized around the goal of creating an original and brutal project. Their 2010 debut EP, A River in Hell, achieved this in stunning fashion. Influences for the project span the crushing death metal of Cannibal Corpse and the progressive jazz-fusion of Guthrie Govan, the industrialized thrash Fear Factory and the deathcore stylings of The Acacia Strain. With a tech-death centralized sound, KYOKTYS brings a deconstructed and brutalized feel to the front of this core. When writing material for their upcoming full-length, Passage, bass player and Calgary Metalfest organizer Nathan Renaud, who formed the band in 2010 alongside vocalist Che De Tremaudan, drummer Ryan Boyko and guitarist Doug McKinnon, credits a large portion towards the latter.
“Doug is such a prolific writer that we would be crazy to not go along with his vision. I know he’s trying to mess with people’s heads, as he certainly does with mine,” Renaud says. He continues, laughing, “I’m given the job to try and write a bass line behind it. It’s certainly not a competition and we never approach our songs like that, this is just what he writes. In the end, we all approve everything and contribute our parts to the arrangements, and that’s where it becomes a true band collaboration.”
Renaud is a freelance live and recording sound engineer when he isn’t bringing up the low end for KYOKTYS and brings this knowledge to the recording and production of all the band’s work. For the new record, he focused on keeping their sound down to earth.
“We didn’t try to go for brutality or attack, or even be as hard as possible,” Renaud explains. “Even for my playing, I tried to peel it back a bit. Just because Doug is playing a million notes in a solo doesn’t mean I have to follow him.”
Renaud also completed the recording and tracking for Passage, while Dave Parks, of Calgary band, Dark Forest, completed the mixing and mastering.
“Dave is a good friend and we were really happy to have him and it’s great to have another set of ears on it,” Renaud exclaims.
KYOKTYS will be heading out on tour shortly after Calgary Metalfest. It’s because the band’s philosophy is, as he says, “Write, record, tour, repeat!
“We want to tour the new album, we really want to get it out to everyone. It’s a simple equation.” Renaud concludes. For the CD release, he has a few final choice words.
“All I can say is that you better be there, because we’re bringing the goddamned fire and may even have a little surprise in store…”
KYOKTYS’ CD release party is on Friday, June 6 at Dickens Pub during Calgary Metalfest.
By Matthew Telgen
CD cover art: David Richeson