Keep of Kalessin - Armada
This is the album that takes KEEP OF KALESSIN up from the underground and into the elite! At least the band and their label think so, and after listening to "Armada" it is hard not to agree. Band boss Obsidian C has managed to establish a complete and steady line up this time, on the last effort, the magnificent EP "Reclaim", he got a lot of publicity by having guest appearances from Frost (Satyricon/1349) and Attila (Mayhem/Aborym/Tormentor etc...). Nowadays the band members are vocalist Thebon, bassist Wizziac, original drummer Vyl as well as Obsidian C himself on guitars.
Reviewed by Eddie Risdal in 4/2/2006
There is already listed a number of rave reviews on the band's homepage, and I'm at a certain extent willing to join the masses here. This 50 minute long opus includes an intro, an instrumental and eight regular songs, and out of these there is a 50/50 mix of incredibly good songs and "just" good songs. The opening couple "Crown Of The King" and "The Black Uncharted" as well as the last two tracks, "The Wealth Of Darkness" and "Armada" are truly some of the best melodic black/extreme metal I've heard for ages. So the "problem" here is that they make the rest of the album a little less interesting so to say. They are not at all bad, but when I play the CD and the first two songs are finished I tend to just wait for the last two, with the in-betweeners being easy skipped.
The production is perfect for the album, quite clinical and razor sharp, to give justice to the insane guitar playing of Obsidian C, this man is riffing just as tight as a baby's ass, amazing! The vocals of Thebon is mainly in the general black metal lane, but now and then he does some clean vocals as well, and this works fine to give more melodies to the atmospheric parts in the songs. Vyl's drumming is fast as lightning while the bass performance is a bit more anonymous. I might say fitting, as I can't imagine that it would be any succesful with progressive bass playing here.
So the verdict is that if you like black metal with some melodies and good production, stylewise not too far from bands like OLD MAN'S CHILD and DARK FUNERAL, then this album is mandatory! The "Armada" is ready to conquer!
This album is also reviewd by Nash Rothanburg.