Keep of Kalessin - Kolossus

Keep of Kalessin belong to the second wave of Norwegian Black Metal bands who had tried to conciliate the traditional legacy of Emperor and Mayhem with some irreverence characteristic of someone who intends to go beyond the rigid limits of Black Metal. Although they are not adventurous as Arcturus or Borknagar, they successfully introduced some new elements and epic melodies clearly stepping away from the loyal followers of the so called true Black Metal. Curiously, this attitude only gained them some notability on their third album “Armada”. Considered as one of the best Black Metal albums of 2006 by critics and fans, “Armada” only sinned for not having the support of a strong record label capable of pushing Keep of Kalessin into new heights.
Something that will likely change with the new work “Kolossus”, which marks the beginning of a new union with the Norwegian record company Indie Recordings that in turn licensed the album for the gigantic Nuclear Blast.
Although it seems a less immediate work at first spins, “Kolossus” is definitely a truly colossal record. The differences between this new album and the previous one “Armada” aren’t that many, perhaps “Kolossus” is a bit trashier and more progressive, but rest assured ‘cause the epic quality that characterized “Armada” continues to be present here. Themes like “The Rising Sign”, “Escape the Union” and “Kolossus” prove that the Norwegians possess a great talent to produce epic and memorable songs.
“The Rising Sign”, for example starts with a mid-tempo trashy riff before exploding into a ferocious and fast rhythm with an extremely fast double-bass work that only rests when the melodic and captivating chorus steps in to later on culminate in a gentler and symphonic ambient.
“Escape The Union” is also a diverse song, it sees the band alternating between mid-paced and fast rhythms and offers a very melodic and excellent guitar solo while classic guitars are playing in the background.
The title theme is excellent as well, perhaps the most symphonic piece of the all album it has an almost cinematographic atmosphere and shows a beautiful classical guitar passage and a tribal percussion work.
Vocalist Thebon seems perfectly adjusted to the band and his vocal performance is absolutely great. His voice constantly adapts to the diverse changes of rhythm and ambient, without ever losing it’s aggressive tone and maintaining an incredible perceptibility.
“Kolossus” is an excellent work that will certainly catapult Keep of Kalessin into the forefront of Black Metal. (8/10)

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