The Problem Of Evil
Review by Michael on June 8, 2022.
The Problem Of Evil isn't a long forgotten philosophical essay by Immanuel Kant or Thomas Hobbes but the first solo album by Kåre André Slettenberg, also known as the guitarist from In The Woods…. Stylistically very close to newer In The Woods… releases but the young Norwegian gives his six compositions a very own touch. Basically it is the riffing that reminds a lot of In The Woods but the songs are a little bit more into black metal. Starting with a very calm piano intro and some classical guitar riffing 'Frost Rite Descends' grows into a harsh yet melodic black metal track underlined with some synths to create a very gloomy atmosphere. The tempo changes from very fast intermezzos to very doomy parts during the whole song. The vocals are pretty grim most of the time and very close to some Norwegian black metal stuff back from the early 90s which also goes for the other tracks although Kåre has four different vocalists (Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation, Tristania), Jan Åge Lindeland (Blot), V-Rex Skåtum and himself on track 4.
'Yours To Keep (Always And Forever)' includes some riffs (check at 1:20) that we all know from In The Woods but because of the vocals this again is a more black metallic interpretation of his major band. 'This Is Goodbye' is more ballad-like (a little bit like Satyricon's “Phoenix”) which depends on the very calm melodies and the sonorous vocals. Very sad and gloomy riffs underline this very thoughtful atmosphere to go into yourself. The title track has a very surprising acoustic guitar part and some psychedelic keyboard samples and is with a running time of 10 ½ minutes the longest track on the album. Although there are again a lot of In The Woods-like melodies it is a pretty outstanding track that lives from the very smart and entertaining musical arrangements. You will not notice the long running time of this song because of the multiple facets it has. 'Lost Love' is most of the time a quite fast rocking song with some quite catchy tunes but suddenly it surprises with Kåre taking out the speed and switching to piano and some relaxing guitars. A really interesting track that (just like all the other five tracks) need to be explored and this is not possible in one or two listening sessions.
The production is done very well, when you know Kåres main band, you probably know the sound of KAS as well. So there are no really huge points to criticize The Problem Of Evil, maybe sometimes all the arrangements are a little bit too much but maybe I just was in the wrong mood to get into it that time. The first KAS album is truly a quite unknown gem that should find a lot more attention in the (black) metal scene.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Dr. Evil126