Keep of Kallesin – Armada

keepofkallesin_090407_armadArmada” a stunningly technical performance, spoiled by a lackluster vocalist. To me, the MCD “Reclaim” is Keep of Kalessin’s crowning achievement thus far. The songs were memorable. Atilla Cishar, the ever wicked frontman, elevated this firestorm to new heights of ear blazing uniqueness. Frost did what he does best… pushed the envelope of speed and technicality with his calculated precision drumming. K.O.K., post super group, is still an amazing force in the modern black metal world. In fact, remaining original member, Obsidian C (Satyricon touring member), is a virtuoso player to the highest caliber and the riffs he’s created on the tracks “Crown of the Kings” and amazing palm muted speed of “Vengeance Rising” stand alone as some of the most memorable, passionate and just plain killing stuff he’s yet composed. New drummer Vyl seems to be the perfect replacement for Frost, for he plays with a lot of character and can seemingly match Frost’s speed with ease. New vocalist Thebon however when he’s not trying to sound like Ihsahn, he resorts to what can only be considered as borderline hardcore shouting. Sometimes his performance takes on a slightly tuneful pitch quality underneath the shouting style, but it just seems like he lacks the power needed to match the intensity raging beneath his performance. Thebon is by far the weakest link in K.O.K.’s deadly armada. But the music… damn! Blazing with hellfire and wicked turns, Obsidian’s riff work is a stellar union of melody and searing quickness that soars with moments of melodious soloing, twin leads and lofty layering that piles on dimension and artistic flair, enveloped in a blackened thrash shell. In terms of working with actually meaningful musical content and blinding speed, no other band can really touch Keep Of Kalessin. Truly a band that has it all, other than a singer with the necessary hellpipes to accommodate the ferocity needed to continuously ignite this inferno. If Atilla had sang on “Armada”, this could have been one of my favorite albums of all time. As it stands… if you’re a fan of modern black metal, this album will undoubtedly blow you away. I’m just a picky old guy that likes his vocalist a lot more cancerous in the throat region. – Marty


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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