Monday, January 12, 2009
Keep of Kalessin "Through Times of War"
Here's an all too dusty item from my collection. I see a lot of hype for this band lately, but little mention of their debut full length "Through Times of War." This is a solid release with a fair amount of diverse and atmospheric stuff going on. A lot of comparison could be drawn to early Satyricon and Emperor's work because of the layering of synth and often used power chord riffery.
The interesting thing about this release is that its the first of its kind to incorporate a heightened focus on a more angered and intense element while maintaining a great roving, galloping pace about it all. Its a teetering balance to stride but I think its success is proven in how memorable the riffing and song writing is. While I liked the next album "Agnen" a lot, I think this was the bands downfall that led to them now playing lazy and forgettable death metal ala Behemoth.
Its a very guitar heavy album but there is a fair amount of not so intrusive synth use and the vocals while competent and somewhat evocative, are sorta back seat on this knightly steed. The drums are gargantuan and perfectly reproduced by studio Brygga. It should also be stated that there is some noteworthy bass playing here, which is something I rarely take notice of due to faulty recordings within this genre. The album opens with some great memorable catchy melodic nordic type stuff which lasts strongly until the fifth song which changes it up a bit with a more dirgey and repetitive song, which is a preparatory precursor to the fucking infernal warmongeror that is "Obliterator." The album's closer is more of a return to the bands penchant for slower paced monotonous atmospheric material. Its got a lot of spoken word vocals and reverb laden guitar harmonies but all in all its not the best song on the album. After a few minutes of silence there's another song, its some bonus material that I'm going to forget is on here because its really stupid. It sounds like they had an unused second guitar track and the band recorded some improv stuff over it. Unnecessary and not worth having it on there.