MetalBite Review by Maciek on 3/31/2015
The black metal scene of Norway will never stop surprising me. Keep of Kalessin
was always a recognisable name for me, but it was always one of those which "I will listen to at some point". And before I realised it, the band is already on the scene for over 20 years and just released 6th full-length album "Epistemology"
. So to provide well-informed review, I've had a look at their previous 5 albums and realised that I missed quite a lot of good music over these years and am catching up now as I write this.
Keep of Kalessin
seems to have gone through quite a transformation, starting with quite Emperor
-esque black metal, some bits of death metal to most recent achievement of quite interesting and very epic, Enslaved
-ish album. Some of their early albums reminded me of Carpe Tenebrum
as well, so I think that should paint a picture of a band which doesn't like simple riffs or easy rhythmical constructions.
From the line-up and the band's video you can tell that now the band consists of only 3 people, with Obsidian Claw
now bearing vocalist's responsibilities, which is probably the biggest change. And in my opinion it is a change for better, putting the whole process of firing the previous vocalist aside, this is not a gossip website after all... His clean vocals remind me Ihsahn
a little, which always brings back some good memories. Growls and shrieks are also good quality, really good job. The band seems to be excelling in epic tracks, which usually last at least 5 minutes and this album follows this tradition. The riffs are still complex, reminding some of the best masterpieces from Dark Funeral
, but this album definitely has more progressive elements, which brought the band closer to Enslaved
now, with some epic elements almost too catchy and too melodic. But fans of agressive, fast-paced blast beats can still find something for themselves on this album. Maybe I'm too picky, but I would probably only prefer more live-sounding drums, as these sound a bit too plastic, but that doesn't ruin the overall rhythmic section at all, there are some boundaries to the speed and accuracy of humans and some bands need some support (like Limbonic Art
, another favourite band of mine). I am really enjoying Thorns
-like or Ved Buens Ende
-like pulled up riffs in "Dark Divinity"
, which is probably my favourite track here, thanks to really good solos. "Universal Core"
probably my second favourite. Really strong position this year, the band which is really maintaining the same high technical level with this album having maybe a bit more melodic vocals, but since I'm a fan of clean vocals in Emperor
, this actually makes me like this album even more. I don't miss Emperor
Rating: 9 out of 10