Keep of Kalessin is back to claim their place.
Created in 1995 in Norway and led since then by Obsidian Claw (guitar/vocals/keyboards, formerly live for Khonsu and Satyricon), the band goes from a raw Black Metal to a mix of Black and Melodic Death over the albums. While the band was rather discreet, it is accompanied by Wizziac (bass, Nexorum, live for Vredehammer) and Wanja « Nechtan » Gröger (drums, Voldt, Craving, ex-Negator), as well as Roger Isaksen (guitar, Nexorum, Embrace the Dawn) on stage, it announces its return with Katharsis, its seventh album, on Back on Black and Morningstar Music.
Katharsis, the first track, immediately confirms that time has not altered the band’s strength, placing extremely effective riffs that arise in an instant and grab us by the throat. Enraged screams and clean vocals perfectly mix with the grandiose epic melodies, taking advantage of the extreme speed, just like on Hellride which uses some more modern keyboards as well as more aggressive and straightforward riffs, easily integrated to dark choirs. The Omni follows, and we can see that even if the track is longer than the previous ones, it takes the same approach by offering frantic riffs and impressive orchestrations, as well as a significant vocal diversity throughout its duration, before finally leading us to War Of The Wyrm, a sharper track. Much darker than the others, the song also relies much more on its epic orchestrations and melodic elements surrounding the aggressive riffs before From The Stars And Beyond gives its riffs more playful and bright sounds. The musicians’ visceral rage is always present, giving this track a warlike charge before diving into the melancholy of Journey’s End, a more soothing composition which offers us a moment of respite like some Power Ballad. The saturated leads will join this soaring clean-sounding basis, followed by bass and drums, then vocals strengthen shortly before The Obsidian Expanse, the longest track, comes to flood us with its majestic sounds. The track’s length is still not an excuse to slow down the pace, letting the break offer us soaring keyboards before the band returns, mixing incisive riffs and furious blasts under expressive vocals. The band continues with Throne Of Execration which almost immediately takes us into the intense and devastating surge, always accompanied by fabulous orchestrations and screams, but also by this motivating speech in its center, letting bewitching melodies lead us to The Eternal Swarm, a keyboard outro which closes this album in the best way.
After so much silence, Keep of Kalessin manages to prove to us that their rage is still untouched, as well as their creative force and motivation. Katharsis will undoubtedly satisfy the band’s fans, but also offer us nearly one hour of epic and federating sounds.