Kavod is a three-piece stoner rock band from Perugia, Italy. They produce slow moving songs with an emphasis on trance-inducing riffs. Their name is a Jewish word for honor, as well as being a root that means to be heavy. In a statement, the band described themselves this way: “Kavod is a word and a symbol, a word that in its semantic traces the various nuances of our sound and that in its graphic representation combines various thematic aspects that we deal with. Symbols, geometry, music and the mythical story are elements that travel through the history of man in a sort of silent narration that takes particular forms from century to century without alternating its substance.”
Wheel of Time is their debut recording and was released on April 13, 2019. It’s a three song EP that, though short in length, is well planned and carefully performed. Each song is slightly different in tone and timbre from the others, making this EP diverse. It’s populated with repeating phrases of complex rhythm patterns, heavy, phasing riffs, and melodic vocals that can be at times chant-like or aggressive. That artwork was designed by Bncore, and is a very intriguing yet simplistic symbolic design, featuring a snake devouring itself, in the shape of the infinity symbol. The EP can be purchased on Bandcamp.
Samsara (3:12) is the shortest song on the EP, but its slow, progressive time signature, phaser-like ambience, and intriguing vocals will draw you in. Absolution (5:55) picks up the heaviness, but maintains the thoughtful pace established on the first song. At first, the vocals are like a soft chant, before becoming more aggressive towards the end. The repetitive patterns in the rhythm section set the trance like mood, and the chugging, phaser drenched guitar toward the end up the level of headbanging. Mahatma (5:57) ends the album in a very reflective way. A phasing, deep sounding audioscape, almost resembling the sound of a didgeridoo, is soon joined by chanting vocals. Crisp sounding drums later join in the mix, along with subtle guitar lines that give the song a middle-eastern vibe.
I caught up with the band by email, for a brief interview that gives some information as to the nature of their songwriting process, their influences, and their motivations.
The Sonic Sofa (TSS): Can you explain the role of meditation in your music?
Kavod: To enjoy our music you need to stop thinking on useless stuff like, “What kind of
pedal did he use? What scales does the song use? How many triplets are there in the
section xy-yz?” etc. Meditation is to stop overthinking and like Maynard said “Over-
thinking, over-analyzing… separates the body from the mind.”
TSS: What influences do you draw from as a band, both musical and otherwise?
Kavod: We come from different worlds and experiences so we shared different musical tastes in Kavod. I never listened to stoner/doom stuff until 2 years ago for example but we find a common field during jams. Francesco loves Kyuss, Tool and The Cure while me (Edoardo) and Alessandro look to more classic figures like Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. Anyway the real first influence of the band could be our diversity as human beings, everyone put himself and all his demons, struggles and difficulties in this band and together we try to fight them.
TSS: How does the group approach songwriting? What does this process look and sound like?
Kavod: Essentially we jam in rehearsal and record everything, than we listen and decide on what to work on. Our songwriting is very similar to sculpting a piece of rock: we take a formless piece of dead matter and we smooth it and polish for weeks or months until the sculpture appears. Anyway, it’s an endless process because even after the recordings, “Absolution” was changed. We cut off some extra repetitions and we played the final part a bit different.
TSS: What’s next for Kavod? Do you have any plans in the future for a tour or a full length album?
Kavod: We’re currently writing new material but we’re at the very beginning so, it’s going to take some time before something is out. We want to make a longer record but not too long, maybe around half an hour because it’s easier for people to listen to 30 minutes of music straight than 45 or more. We put the listener before our ego. We’re going to play some national and local gigs this year.
Kavod is a great example of a creative band finding their sound. Given the differences of each song on the EP, it will be interesting to hear what a longer form recording from these guys will sound like, especially when given time to mature and hone their sound. Check them out today.