Keep Of Kalessin - Katharsis review
|Band:||Keep Of Kalessin|
|Release date:||March 2023|
03. The Omni
04. War Of The Wyrm
05. From The Stars And Beyond
06. Journey's End
07. The Obsidian Expanse
08. Throne Of Execration
09. The Eternal Swarm (Outro)
Are you ready for some adventurously epic symphonic meloblack from the former Eurovision contestant Keep Of Kalessin?
It's hard to believe that back in 2010, Keep Of Kalessin became the first metal band to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, doing so with the song "The Dragontower" from their album Reptilian, released that same year. Incredibly, Keep Of Kalessin finished a respectable third in that year's competition, and since then, they went onto release the perhaps less critically acclaimed Epistemology in 2005. Now, after eight years of absence, they bring us their most epic release to date, Katharsis.
Now, calling Katharsis epic could well be an understatement, as here, Keep Of Kalessin provide soundscapes perfectly set for an epic tale of war and heroic adventure, making it an ideal musical soundtrack for a bloodthirsty medieval war film. This is made perfectly clear from the opening title track, with its heavily symphonic black-driven structure. The opening track is almost within reach of Dimmu Borgir in style, as opposed to meloblack, and yet there's a certain uniqueness to it, as Obsidian's vocals aren't nearly as harsh as what you come to expect from regular symphonic black metal acts. Instead, his vocals are much cleaner, but yet he still adds an aggressive tone with a passionate edge to them; this especially works effectively alongside the chant-along secondary vocals during the mighty fists-up chorus.
The symphonic elements remain an important feature as the album continues; the war-like choruses continue on each track as the back-up vocals echo in the background behind Obsidian's powerful leading vocal performance. Along the way you will be met by heroic hair-raising bard-like narrations, plenty of blast beats and tremolo riffs, and epic instrumentals.
There are some parts of the album that really have me intrigued, especially from the middle parts on, starting with the short energetic and catchy "War Of The Wyrm". This is then followed by the epically melodic and powerfully symphonics-driven "From The Stars And Beyond", which is then followed by what is probably the most intriguing track of all, "Journey's End". This song begins with a pleasantly surprising soft acoustic melody that then transcends into a fantastic folk-themed tale with heroic chanting that will send goosebumps racing up to the surface of your skin.
The album also features a ten-minute epic, "The Obsidian Expanse", which straight away is driven by furious blast beats and tremolo riffs. It is then broken up at the midway point during which a short atmospheric synth passage takes place, leading back into how the album first began. A "Child In Time" kind of structure is how I would describe it.
Katharsis is definitely not short of epic moments; however, for some, this could come across as too much, maybe even slightly corny by the end. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of moments that will remind "trve kvltists" that Keep Of Kalessin are still well and truly a black metal act and Eurovision hasn't changed that vision.
||Written on 28.03.2023 by|
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