Kaleikr - Heart Of Lead review




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Band: Kaleikr
Album: Heart Of Lead
Release date: February 2019


01. Beheld At Sunrise
02. The Descent
03. Of Unbearable Longing
04. Internal Contradiction
05. Neurodelirium
06. Heart Of Lead
07. Eternal Stalemate And A Never-Ending Sunset


The Icelandic black metal scene has been all the rage for the past few years. Cosmic, dissonant, melodic, you name it. But it feels like the death metal side of things has been pretty much ignored. Kaleikr can still be somewhat called black metal, but they feel like a denser Icelandic black metal version of Opeth. And more.

Up until listening to this album, I had no fucking idea that Draugsól is no more, which is quite a bummer. I don't know whether Kaleikr ought to be considered a new band or a continuation under a new name, but two of the three Draugsól members are now in Kaleikr, namely drummer Kjartan Harðarson and everythingelser Maximilian Klimko. And there're some slight changes to the Draugsól (and the general Icelandic black metal) formula at play here.

The biggest presence of the death metal side is felt in the vocals, which are closer to the usual death growls than what is usually used in black metal, and they're partly responsible for the Opeth comparison. Also partly responsible are the virtuosic performance and the progressive songwriting, which make the album border on tech death sometimes, and that, depending on whom you ask, is a good thing or a bad thing. But Kaleikr don't just add technicality for the hell of it; it makes Heart Of Lead feel closer to something like heavier Enslaved or Ihsahn moments, only much denser and almost reaching post-metal territories of atmosphere emphasis, so don't worry about it sounding too much like something you've heard before.

There's still plenty of that usual dissonance one can expect, but it's not overly used, and when it is, it feels like an extra flavour to the already spicy recipe. There's a fantastic ebb and flow to the whole album that manages to strike a pretty solid balance between emphasis on atmosphere and emphasis on melodies, so much so that it makes Heart Of Lead both a compelling listen and one with a lot of replayability. More often than not, those ambient intros feel more like intros that are necessary but you'd rather skip since they don't really do much; here it was the first time in quite a while that I heard those first few notes and I was instantly in love with it. The cinematic quality still resonates slightly through the rest of the record, either in how colossal it sometimes sounds or through the occasional viola solos (played by Árni Bergur Zoëga of Árstíðir lífsins and Carpe Noctem fame).

I review a lot of stuff that I love, but only a few ever leave such a lasting impression on me. Heart Of Lead is not flawless, but it succeeds where a lot of others fail, where it feels like all the pieces fit together like magic and it both is instantly impactful and also has room to grow with further listens. Take the journey from sunrise to everlasting sunset.


 



Written on 02.03.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 84 users
02.03.2019 - 18:38
Bad English
Masterchief
Northen sons, north, nature where you live creates your character. Character creates metal, afther 30 not all can compose music. Those guys can, great band, scene there is underrsted
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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02.03.2019 - 19:58
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Best album this year so far definitely! Everything from the inside (music) to the outside (artwork) is just excellent.
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02.03.2019 - 19:59
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Unhealer on 02.03.2019 at 19:58

Best album this year so far definitely! Everything from the inside (music) to the outside (artwork) is just excellent.

This and Helium Horse Fly are def my fav metal ones
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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03.03.2019 - 10:21
Fellow Duh Say
Very good. Sounds quite a bit like Slugdge. I am glad I read this review and thread especially for the Helium Horse Fly mention. I missed that review earlier. Freaking rad. Been awhile since I listened to Kayo Dot, but it's like a moodier Kay Dot with an almost but not quite Bjork singing.
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04.03.2019 - 11:53
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Your review sounds just like you've found one of your most favorite albums of all time, yet you write 'Heart Of Lead is not flawless'.
If so, which flaws did you spot?

Just wondering, since I couldn't detect any kind of criticism throughout the review.
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signatures = SPAM
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04.03.2019 - 12:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 04.03.2019 at 11:53

Your review sounds just like you've found one of your most favorite albums of all time, yet you write 'Heart Of Lead is not flawless'.
If so, which flaws did you spot?

Just wondering, since I couldn't detect any kind of criticism throughout the review.

I could swear that I wrote some criticism but it seems that I was just planning ahead to write some while I was writing and then just assumed that I already did.

The album feels a bit monotonous at times, partly due to the production. The songwriting is great and I really enjoy it while listening to it, more so than most music I listen to, but once the music is over I can't really particularily remember any song or any section. In part it feels like some of the album has more potential to be great than actual greatness.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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04.03.2019 - 14:25
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by RaduP on 04.03.2019 at 12:25

[...] but once the music is over I can't really particularily remember any song or any section. In part it feels like some of the album has more potential to be great than actual greatness.

Thanks, that coincides with my own impression and I thought it was just me...
Some songs do offer some remarkable moments, but taken as a whole, that is not enough to persuade me to give it more spins - and if you ask me, that's the biggest flaw music can have.
I hesitate to say it's bad in any way, but I'd rather spend my bucks on something with a higher recognition value.
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signatures = SPAM
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04.03.2019 - 14:37
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 04.03.2019 at 14:25

Thanks, that coincides with my own impression and I thought it was just me...
Some songs do offer some remarkable moments, but taken as a whole, that is not enough to persuade me to give it more spins - and if you ask me, that's the biggest flaw music can have.
I hesitate to say it's bad in any way, but I'd rather spend my bucks on something with a higher recognition value.

I'm somewhat on the contrary. It's my most listened to record of the year so far (counting by full listens) because even though I don't find it memorable, it has a lot of replayability and it keeps growing on me.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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04.03.2019 - 15:19
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by RaduP on 04.03.2019 at 14:37

I'm somewhat on the contrary. It's my most listened to record of the year so far (counting by full listens) because even though I don't find it memorable, it has a lot of replayability and it keeps growing on me.

It's just a matter of listening habits.
I want to be crushed by the sheer brilliance of music, jaw-dropping moments and memorable tracks. If it lacks these ingredients but offers monotony and a lack of memorability only, the only thing to grow on me is my regret of having wasted my time on something that failed to bowl me over right at the beginning.
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signatures = SPAM
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10.03.2019 - 20:20
VIG
Viggg
Just now checking it out after reading this review. This is great, I could see it being near the top of my 2019 list, and on some other users' lists as well.
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