Keep Of Kalessin

Keep of Kalessin meets Gamma Ray. Or is it vintage Iron Maiden on the opening track with acoustic guitar thrown in. The production is even more polished and clearer than last time making for a monumental sound that will make Bathory purists cringe. Once again high energy forward driving but not overtly melodic music with a dynamic range controlled by the skillful and interesting guitar lines. A lot of bands you could say heard one song you have heard them all, with Keep Of Kalessin it is heard one song and you want to hear them all. One of the most noticeable changes is Thebon’s vocals. He has not changed his style but he has developed a fine control that is really highlighted in his heavier use of clearer vocals, not clean but growled with full control, and more use of tuneful yells.

The album starts off proving they have not missed a beat since Armada with “A New Empire’s Birth” showcasing speedy drumming, fancy drum patterns and nicely done guitar lines. In “Against the Gods” the guitars really work to supplement and highlight the drumming and the last few minutes of the song are quite memorable. “Warmonger” screams, or is it shouts, filler. “Mark of Power” makes up for it with a slow and mellow opening with clean singing that goes on just long enough for you to hover over the skip button when the drums kick you in the face, making you give the vocals another chance, coming through harsher this time. This song is really a showcase for the vocalist and he pulls it off. My two favorites are “The Rising Sign” and “Kolossus.” The title track has a militant flair and is high speed with roaring backing vocals from the marching troops and even gets into the Middle Eastern vibe. The lead guitars on “Rising Sign” are awesome and the blastbeats do not detract from them. This song is Keep Of Kalessin’s version of a power ballad, with chorus singing, hoarse whispers and shrieking mournful guitars adding to the ambiance. The drums step out of the way to let the guitars shine, as do the vocals. As much as I like the rest of the album, I would have to say a whole album in this style would be pretty damn impressive. This is one album I’ll definitely be giving consideration to for album of the year honors.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
July 20th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    This isnt hitting me quite like Armada did. its almost the same though-1/2 amazing then 1/2 filler/average. Put the two albums best songs together and you have a classic album.

  2. Commented by: Red

    Nice review. I actually said the same as Erik T., if Armada and Kolossus were put together it would be one of the greatest albums of the last decade at least…

  3. Commented by: axiom

    I’ve been leaning towards Armada as the fav also, but the brilliance of this release is growing with each listen. I miss the really frenetic guitar passages though.

    Has anyone seen the bonus DVD? On sale at FYE, but sold out at the local sore.

  4. Commented by: Redstar

    The song “Kolossus” off this album absolutely kills. Somehow this album is my first exposure to Keep of Kalessin, and I thank Grimulfr for his insightful and articulate reviews.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Arð - Untouched By Fire
  • Kerry King - From Hell I Rise
  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge
  • Skulldozer - Non Stop Ruthless Crushing
  • Synestia/Disembodied Tyrant  - The Poetic Edda EP
  • Necropanther - Oblivion Jones: A Tale of False Consciousness EP
  • Sarcasm - Mourninghoul
  • Satanic North - Satanic North
  • Stygian Crown - Funeral for a King