Kal Marks — My Name Is Hell — Album Review

Alternative | Noise Rock | Post Rock

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Kal Marks (not to be confused with German philosopher Karl Marx, as Google has) is a Boston four-piece that I had recently discovered on Album of the Year, as a result of August seemingly being a pretty dry month for new music from the very get-go.

However, those dry periods do have some benefits to draw from, especially when it comes to discovering something new, and the album that I am reviewing in this article is exactly one of those.

My Name Is Hell is the fourth studio album from Kal Marks, and the first to be released since 2018’s Universal Care. I thought it best to go over some of the previous works that Kal Marks had released prior to this brand new album. And after skimming over a few of those previous projects, there was a clear sense of the style that Kal Marks were going for; one that expressed a noisy blend of doomy blues. Said style definitely had me interested in the album, and I felt that atmospherically, the band really does it justice.

Before the full album was even released, I thought I would familiarise myself with some of the teaser tracks that heralded the album’s arrival. Those tracks included “Ovation” and the album’s title track. Both sounded great, but I especially liked “Ovation” for its heightened sense of rhythm, which I feel goes really well with Kal Marks’ gloomy and noisy musical style.

Going into the entirety of My Name Is Hell, its is safe to say that many other great tracks followed suit. It was clear that there were some highlights to pick out from the project. However, the album as a whole felt greatly unified by the sense of atmosphere that the band creates.

Vocals are certainly used to the bands advantage as well. With powerful growls, the sense of frustration builds a clearer narrative for the album. On top of this, it made My Name Is Hell sound like an album that would be awesome to listen to live.

The band had said themselves that they “make a variety of sounds”. And while the noise rock aspect seems to be central to Kal Marks’ musical style, the band do an incredible job of combining many elements from different genres. And despite only listening to them properly through this new album, Kal Marks stand in my mind as a unique yet familiar band, which is a very good spot to be in.

While I admit that My Name Is Hell is a pretty tricky album to review (most likely because the band are new to me). However, the overall verdict I have is pretty damn positive overall. As far as albums within the alternative rock sphere go for the musical year of 2022, My Name Is Hell is definitely up there with some of my favourites. I will surely be keeping tabs on what the band may be up to in the future.

Favourite Tracks: Everybody Hertz | Ovation | The Future

Least Favourite Track: Debt

Exploding in Sound

Final Score: 76%

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.