Death is a Blessing by Kizmet has a unique sound that brings indie and rock together arm and arm. The first song “It Never Hurts Now” gives reverence to the sun, the moon and the earth. He sings the lines "Tell me about the sun and how it makes you whole, Now the moon is ready, It smells your fear. With your head in the ground, in the end it worked out" and sounds a bit like Britt Daniel from Spoon. The lyrics are ambiguous but it makes me feel like someone was running from something and buried it all away because they couldn't be bothered being seen by the sun and the moon and the earth as whole. Whether that death is real or metaphoric, the listener can feel the heaviness. It feels angst-y and by the same token like a breaking out of that angst with a hopeful tinge. Crossing over from indie into a more surf rock feeling lightens the load.
The next song “Angels Pray for You” continues the theme and title of the album by relating it to death and afterlife. The band really finds freedom in the idea of death and the dance of all the puzzle pieces coming together at the end - that is the real end of pain. "Life's a mess/But i guess what never comes next/Will be best in the end/All the things/That coulda-woulda-shouldhave been/Remain in heaven/Where death is a blessing/Yeah death is a blessing /You're death is a blessing/Ill see you again." Something gives me the feeling that they lost a friend and forged an album in honor of that. Fortunately for the hopeful tinge in the album, nothing is too heavy. The inevitability of heaven I think is really what sets this music in a positive direction.
“Blue Suede Shoes” is about walking the blues day in and day out. The main vocalist reminds me of Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon. The guitar and drums are uplifting and succinct. Sparse solos loaded with piano and vocals. The main vocalist’s voice is sultry and oaky. He feels the blues every step he takes and dances with this struggle of being on planet Earth. I am so glad when I hear music that outlines the strain and existential suffering with living because it is a great release for people. I really appreciate this track as one of my favorites on the EP for it exemplifies the soul’s desire to be free, but must walk the bluesy path because he can feel it all.
Ending on the song “Backroads,” the main vocalist’s voice takes a different approach. The sound of the band also sounds different in a more hopeful love song like sensation. "To catch my dreams on and uncensored canvas like you/To hide the nightmares hold my heart and soul in these shoes/Before I lose control." Although the heart has been trodden and confused, there is still an opening for love to come in and save the soul. I think that is the hopefulness one gets from listening to this piece that there still is hope as long as there is love as cliché as that may sound. But hey, clichés are here for a reason!
Death is a Blessing takes you through a journey of a fight with being alive and the emotional struggle that comes with it, knowing that somewhere under the rainbow when this is all over and the spirit is free it will dance about without any constraint! A few songs refer to heaven, the stars and the moon as a guide to life on earth. I love the main vocalist’s voice, and the overall content feeling that you get from the music. It is hopeful and sad, dreary and upbeat. It encompasses the darkness and pushes it toward the light toward love. It is like a small tree that is reaching toward sunlight despite the fact it may be planted in the shadows. Knowing the light is there - the love is there - brings hope inspiration and art. Without the struggle there would be no music! Kudos to Kizmet for embodying the struggle in such a beautiful way.
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