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Rating:
8.2
Kekal - Audible Minority
25 December 2008


01. The Vampire Song
02. Conditional Destiny
03. Against
04. Ceasefire Negative
05. Between Us
06. For The Greater Good And Evil
07. Narrow Avenue
08. Virtue Of Perseverance
09. Shuffling Biorhythms
10. All That Matters
11. Locust [A-Ha cover]


While Kekal may or may not exist as a band anymore, it's pretty hard to tell, one thing is for sure; this Indonesian trio has a knack for making quite bizarre music. Although originally forming as a black metal band in '95 Kekal has almost completely abandoned those roots. Instead, they now play a form of avant-garde metal with an extremely heavy dose of electronics.

In each song of Audible Minority Kekal uses guitar and bass mostly in a rhythmic sense, only occasionally bringing them to the forefront of their music. Instead, the band heavily uses electronic samples and synthesizers, which add to the atmosphere and rhythm of the album, often granting each song much more depth than it otherwise would have. Additionally, these sounds quite often replace more traditional instruments as the lead.

The best part of Audible Minority is Kekal's ability to constantly vary their songs, both on a song by song basis as well as within each song. There are usually several guitar effects and samples used per song, few of which are repeated more than once on the album. Each sound generally has a darker tinge on it, but other than that few are truly that similar; there are distorted laser beams and sounds reminiscent of a boiling tea kettle. The sounds are all very unique yet rarely feel obviously computer generated; it's as if somewhere these peculiar noises could exist in nature.

Kekal also manages to constantly change tempo, style and even time signature. It's refreshing to hear a chorus of electronic sounds change into a saxophone solo without warning as in the middle of "Ceasefire Negative". Several songs have very droning sections, often resolving faster parts of the same song or evolving into such while still keeping the consistency of the song.

However, Audible Minority is far from a flawless album, mostly because the vocals are simply awful. I'm convinced no one in the band knows how to fluently speak English, which is extremely apparent anytime one of them sings. Nonetheless it is not the indistinguishable English that kills the vocals; it is that no one from Kekal seems to know how to sing. Sometimes they manage to overcome this by administering heavy doses of effects to the vocals. This makes them just as hard to understand, but fits with the overall electronic feeling of Audible Minority, unfortunately this rarely happens. It is especially damaging to "All That Matters", which could have been a cool, almost poppy and upbeat. Instead, the song devolves into total garbage, which reminds me of the A-Ha cover of "Locust", which begins promisingly but never builds up, instead keeping the same minimal riff for five minutes.

While Audible Minority may truly be only for a small minority of listeners, it is nonetheless a good release, simply bogged down by bad vocals and some poor songs. I recommend downloading the album from Kekal's website, since it will relieve you of the pain of "Locust".

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Kekal
Album: Audible Minority


 


written by Marcus | 09.03.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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SyndicCalls404 - 17.03.2011 at 22:50  
I'm a DIE-HARD fan of this band from beginning to end and this release was very disappointing. By putting the electronics all the way to the front, the songs seem to have lost any sort of cohesion and just feel like a bunch of ideas jammed together. The Habit of Fire was a masterpiece because the electronics added to the songs by adding a subtle darkness to all the compositions - and they were already at a stellar level. Here, though, the music tried way too hard to be "dark" and stripped away almost all the memorable melodies, atmospheres and riffs that made this band so special. It seems, fortunately, that the 8 album has fixed these issues.
Marcus - 18.03.2011 at 17:07  
Written by SyndicCalls404 on 17.03.2011 at 22:50

I'm a DIE-HARD fan of this band from beginning to end and this release was very disappointing. By putting the electronics all the way to the front, the songs seem to have lost any sort of cohesion and just feel like a bunch of ideas jammed together. The Habit of Fire was a masterpiece because the electronics added to the songs by adding a subtle darkness to all the compositions - and they were already at a stellar level. Here, though, the music tried way too hard to be "dark" and stripped away almost all the memorable melodies, atmospheres and riffs that made this band so special. It seems, fortunately, that the 8 album has fixed these issues.


I totally agree, kind of surprised I gave this album such a high rating because I remember it not really deserving it. I''ll check out their new one though right away.
3plezer0 - 05.06.2012 at 22:09  
Honestly "Audible Minority" is a very good album by itself. The only problem is that it doesn't really 'feel' like a Kekal album, because the atmosphere is so dark, bleak and a bit 'ungodly'. It is still more cohesive than avant-garde bands like, let's say Mr. Bungle, etc. This isn't the album for everyone, only for people who like dark / depressive music. Fans of positive music should stay away.

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