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Keitzer - The Last Defence
18 July 2014


01. Bellum Indicere
02. Exist To Destroy
03. This Is The Only Solution
04. Forever War
05. Marching Forward To Victory
06. The Last Defence
07. Next Offensive
08. We Are The Serpents Of Doom
09. Fleshcrawl
10. Todgeweiht
11. Glorious Dead
12. Ausgelöscht
13. Crusade
14. ...Before Annihilation


Now that, people, is what we call an album cover. Seriously, go give it a closer look and come back...

...Back? Good. Guess what? For once, the music almost matches the quality of the artwork.

Granted, Keitzer really don't start off on a great note with The Last Defence. This really is a "grower" of an album...Not that it will grow on you, but rather it grows from start to finish. The early and latter halves of this album sound like two separate bands attempting the same material. The first half is a cute little attempt at extreme metal; it's muddied, derivative and aimless. You can't quite tell if you're listening to some poorly produced deathcore, or some hardcore band attempting a black metal-grindcore fusion. Like a drunk trying to dig his dropped house keys out of the shrubs, Keitzer spend a few minutes feeling around for that sweet spot.

Then they hit it! The production gets some clarity, the song writing becomes well streamlined, direct and purposeful. A unique sound of their own begins to take shape; a black metal-injected Bolt Thrower with Trap Them's Ryan McKenney on vocals. By the end of the album, they really live up to these lofty comparisons. The growth in itself is a nice change. How often have you gotten a massive, proverbial - or literal, whatever floats your boat - boner for an album, only to have it fizzle out after 3 songs? In fact, I'd be willing to bet that happens with frustrating frequency. The Last Defence is the opposite of that.

Judging the quality of this album is far too difficult to assign a flat numerical score. On one hand, the weak opening almost begs you to switch to something else. On the other, The Last Defence progresses into what is arguably one of the best extreme metal releases this year.


 



Written on 18.08.2014 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Rodney - 19.08.2014 at 14:09  
I had the opposite experience as you with this album. Was digging it a lot for the first half and after that it seemed to lose steam. Got a bit too samey for me. I would likely enjoy this a lot more if it were just an EP with 7 or so songs. Well written review regardless.
Ilham - 19.08.2014 at 19:44  
Funny how the cover is misleading. It is nice, but really not what I'd expect from a death/hardcore band. You couldn't have described it better, it's a younger Bolt Thrower on a lot of caffeine with a - less impressive - guy like McKinney on the mic. But to be honest I didn't mind the beginning of the album at all, and I wouldn't have minded more of that grindcore side I heard in those first tracks. Maybe arranging them somewhere around the middle would have created some kind of variation, instead of putting you - and more - people off as it is now.
Anyway, nice album and discovery for me.
Doc Godin - 21.08.2014 at 10:15  
Written by Ilham on 19.08.2014 at 19:44

Funny how the cover is misleading. It is nice, but really not what I'd expect from a death/hardcore band. You couldn't have described it better, it's a younger Bolt Thrower on a lot of caffeine with a - less impressive - guy like McKinney on the mic. But to be honest I didn't mind the beginning of the album at all, and I wouldn't have minded more of that grindcore side I heard in those first tracks. Maybe arranging them somewhere around the middle would have created some kind of variation, instead of putting you - and more - people off as it is now.
Anyway, nice album and discovery for me.

Yeah, the grindcore opening was definitely a little more chaotic, probably more aggressive as well, but to me it felt like the aggression was sort of purposeless. The latter half of the album is definitely more basic in its approach, but I found better executed. I wholeheartedly agree - the album could have been that much better if the song order was different. That being said, just the amount of ferocity and energy this album has has grown on me even more over the past few days - probably to the point where it's my favourite release this year.


...And pretty much everyone is less impressive when they go for the McKenney sound. That guy's a beast.
Vombatus - 27.08.2014 at 22:50  
This is good shit ! The tone and riffing are crushing. I only wish the vocals where deeper/more powerful, think they don't match well enough the crunshiness of the instruments.
Ilham - 28.08.2014 at 02:04  
Gave it another spin today. It does sound more mature and more structured towards the end. But I think that's exactly why it bored me a little. I really would have liked to see those touches of grind and pure aggression disseminated around the tracklist, just to give the listener a little surprise from time to time. I'm already repeating myself, but this is indeed a nice discovery.

Have you listened to any of their other albums? I am curious enough to check out one of those now.
Doc Godin - 28.08.2014 at 08:24  
Written by Ilham on 28.08.2014 at 02:04

Have you listened to any of their other albums? I am curious enough to check out one of those now.

Honestly, I'd never even heard of this band before reviewing them. I took a listen to some of their other stuff on band camp, nothing grabbed me as much as this.
deadone - 29.08.2014 at 08:48  
Not bad. I can totally hear the Hardcore Black Metal Bolt Thrower combo.

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