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Band Name Keep Of Kalessin
Album Name Reptilian
Type Album
Data de lançamento 10 Maio 2010
Estilo de MúsicaThrash Black
Membros têm este álbum96


1. Dragon Iconography 07:30
2. The Awakening 08:19
3. Judgement 05:10
4. The Dragontower 04:43
5. Leaving the Mortal Flesh 04:25
6. Dark as Moonless Night 05:50
7. The Divine Land 06:47
8. Reptilian Majesty 14:13
Total playing time 56:57

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Crítica @ darknessguide

30 Maio 2010
Numerous hopes for one of the saviour-bands of “modern” black metal weighted heavily on the shoulders of the Norwegian extreme metallers Keep of Kalessin. History comes to show that it’s not an easy burden to bear, but the past several years of scene experience proved Obsidian Claw & co worthy enough to carry the load and keep that frontline position. While the first three albums represented the most aggressive era in their discography, the appearance of “Kolossus” marked a whole new beginning for the band – firmly balanced, more melodic and yet drawing powerful energy from that dark black metal stream of inspiration for the music of the Scandinavian quartet. Namely the furor caused by that very same album two years ago placed Keep of Kalessin at a crossroad and their faithful followers began to make their own eventual plans for the future path of their champions.

Surprisingly, the year of 2010 and more precisely the new album finds the band in a not so very different state but tangled in a web weaved from the personal experimental points and methods of Obsidian, Thebon, Wizziac and Vyl. “Reptilian” shares more common features with the refined sound of “Kolossus” than with any other opus from the past, but the line of similarities pretty much ends here. Defining the genre of a band with such a diverse and flexible sound in one concrete style frame was never an easy task to begin with – furthermore, it even became harder these past two years, but after the fifth obligatory station from the road of their discography it already borders on with the impossible. The album gathers all well-known traditions of the band in one – the brutal direction of the first album triad shines through in many compositions while the atmospheric tentacles of “Kolossus” spread even further, stubbornly refusing to loosen their grip, and if that’s not enough, we’re tossed right in the middle of a cacophonic mixed up elements of power, speed, thrash, progressive and whatever else metal you can think of. The final result might be controversial for some people – ranging within fragmentary impressions under the influence of separate songs on one side and the clear global perception of the record on the other, which this time takes more time than Keep of Kalessin ever allowed themselves as criteria towards their listeners.

Dragon Iconography” uncompromisingly announces what’s this all about even from its semi-acoustic beginning growing into a solid chain of fastened riffs, blast beats, smooth symphonics and surprising choir participation which, together with Obsidian’s characteristic solos, mark each song of “Reptilian”. “The Awakening” is among the most representative mosaic pieces – an evil atmospheric fragment with accelerated choir choruses, made out with the help of all three voices of the musicians, a sonorous bass basis, Vyl’s drumshots and the growling invocations of Thebon, who sets his chords free during the entire album and goes through several vocal metamorphoses. “Judgement” heats the mood red with a rough thrash rhythm and constant tempo changes, allowing the quartet to shine in its golden eerie light. The power metal arrangement of the sadly recognized “The Dragontower” timidly sneaks in as if to compensate for the brutal nature of its predecessors but it gladly fades away as unnoticeably as it begins. After scores of spins, this joke continues to be funny only in the ranks of the contest it was created for and I strongly doubt that many Keep of Kalessin fans would find it amusing in the album itself. Fortunately, the band has the right cure for this – in this case it’s called “Leaving the Mortal Flesh” and is just as extreme as necessary in order to quickly wipe out the memory of that Eurovision filler. And yet, if we have to face the “new” look of the Kalessins, the acoustic spirit of the ballad “Dark as Moonless Night” works out perfectly fine – beautiful melodic base with a slowed-down tempo, impressive keys and Thebon’s cleans during the chorus with the help of his two colleagues in addition. Bit by bit this offers a comparison with digressions such as “Winged Watcher” from “Armada” and the duo “The Rising Sign”/”The Mark of Power” from “Kolossus”, which by all means are warmly welcome in “Reptilian”. The oldschool-spirited solo of Obsidian puts the elegy to an end and steps back before the unquestionable culmination of the album called “The Divine Land” just in time for Keep of Kalessin to demonstrate they don’t hold respect to anything sacred and to subject the ears of the fans to a scope of fire from speed metal riffs, power domination and blackened screams all in the same time, forging “a must have” concert hit. The 14 min. final “Reptilian Majesty” ends the record in the most worthy way – the outrageous screams of Thebon pour poison and sulphuric acid as if coming out from the fangs of their mighty husky winged godfather whose eyes pierce from the artwork and along with the instrumentarium leave the listener no rest at all; The psycho repetitive key-string union suddenly bring to life associations with something beyond our knowledge, cosmic and accessable only to the musicians who vest it with sound and mould the most complex composition ever written by them. The choir enters the spotlight before the obligatory melodic solo, taken as if from the golden era of hard rock which undertakes anew the melody of “Dragon Iconography” and thus tightly closes the circle.

Reptilian” will hardly please the fans still waiting to catch a glimpse of the malevolent first steps of the Norwegians once more in a renovated version. The record would also turn out to be a hard one to swallow for all those who expect them to finally concentrate at one place in particular, still more now when Keep of Kalessin proved they can combine several genres in a row better than many other bands out there. But in the end, therein lies the beauty of the new effort – in its problematic receptivity, vast quantity of ideas, casting all prejudices aside and most accurately in its provocative spirit.

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Crítica @ Crinn

20 Dezembro 2011

One of black metal's best albums

[Originally posted November 25, 2010]

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 20/20.

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