Keep of Kalessin


Written by: EW on 29/07/2010 23:49:00

Having reviewed the fourth album of Norwegians Keep of Kalessin almost two years ago to the day I find myself impressed at the niche sound into which the band have settled over the course of their last few releases. 2008's "Kolossus", impressive as it was it did not match up to its' predecessor "Armada", however it did cement the band's particular style into extreme metal's consciousness. Full of big singalong chorus, hyperspeed riffs and blasts and an all-round epic way of doing things, KoK make a good effort in being one of the least extreme BM bands but crucially, the proponents of many a good song.

Knowing not to fix something that ain't broke, "Reptilian" is effectively an extension of where "Kolossus" left off, as in songs like "The Divine Land" and "Dark As Moonless Night" the band take the epic chorus formula to the extreme, slowing down the music for extra effect to fire hooks guaranteed to stick in the memory whether one likes the songs or not. Though the musicianship is undisputed in their performance of this material, KoK skill lies in the creation of songs that sound unique to them without resorting to unnecessary gimmicks or tedium as slow, fast, and very fast, mix together with just enough breathing space to always leave the listener guessing as to what might happen next.

By this very same token however Kalessin's reluctance to deviate significantly from their fast/slow template until 14-minute closer "Reptilian Majesty" exhibits an air of songs being written on the production line, as nothing to be found here matches the majesty of "Crown of the Kings", the band's undoubted classic from "Armada". "The Dragontower", (in)famously put forward as a candidate for Norway's Eurovision entry earlier this year, is surprisingly not as dull as one would expect it to be, as it's slower pace and easier feel on the ear marks the overall direction taken on "Reptilian"; an album built upon the steady success each previous LP has brought the band and one which should translate to further attention for the band.

Download: The Divine Land, Dark As Moonless Night, Reptilian Majesty
For the fans of: Satyricon, Dark Fortress
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.05.2010
Indie Recordings/Nuclear Blast

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