Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keep of Kalessin-Reptilian

I have had this album ever since it was released. Having been quite impressed with their debut album, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me that Reptilian was astonishing. I recently saw them live as an opening act for Nile, along with Ex Deo, Pathology, Psycroptic, and Phlegethon. And I was astonished beyond belief. I actually managed to easily get up on the stage and stage dive. On top of that I touched the vocalist’s hair sometime during the beginning of their set. Some time after they got off stage, I got a chance to meet the band at their merchandise table. I learned that three of the members are Satanists, and the fourth being an atheist. They were all very nice and I bought Reptilian on CD and got it autographed by the whole band. After that I decided that Keep of Kalessin is one of my favorite black metal bands of all time. My favorite thing about them is that they aren’t PURE BLACK METAL. They are progressive and experimental, which is a good band to show people who are new to black metal. So if you want to introduce someone to black metal, this should definitely be one of the bands that you show them.

The thing about Keep of Kalessin that I think everyone should know is that they are one of the tightest metal bands I’ve ever heard. This is expressed the most in the intro of The Awakening. The drummer’s blast beats are traditional, but he always adds something small to them, the thing that he adds is different each song and it really makes listening to the drums interesting. The distortion of the guitars is very clean, which means that you can listen to it very loud without experiencing discomfort or damaging your ears. The vocalist isn’t the best at the traditional black metal vocal style, which is probably why he doesn’t do it that often. When he screams, it sounds like he’s straining himself a little bit which could probably mean he is doing it incorrectly, or that he smokes. The one thing that he’s really good at is growling. His growl is very deep, has a powerful sound, and has been practiced a lot. Something that Keep of Kalessin did that I think is unique is that they created a small choir that was used in a few of the songs to give them a really gothic sound at times. One thing that could use a little work is the guitars. The guitars are a little too simple and can be very repetitive at times.

I think that the song that was practiced the most would be The Awakening. The intro is so tight that it seems almost impossible that a band could do that. At first I thought that they edited it in the studio, but they did the exact same thing live and metal bands usually don’t cheat when they play live. The Divine Land is one of the more melodic songs, having a really mystical and gothic sound due to the melodic guitars and large amount of singing. Judgement is an interesting song. It starts out slower, with no vocals, very melodic too. And then the whole song speeds up completely, but still stays extremely melodic and pretty. I guess now I’ll talk about my favorite song from this album (which they played live!), The Dragontower. This song is filled with creativity and color. The notes that are sung in the chorus fit the song perfectly. The Dragontower is the most diverse and abstract song from the album. I would highly recommend this album to black metal newbies, and hardcore black metal fans. This gets 19/20.