Keep of Kalessin “Kolossus” (2008)

I am following the development of this band for quite some time now, since their first album. And what a development it has been. KEEP OF KALESSIN have, after two, well, “nice” but mediocre albums, managed to turn a few heads with their Mini-CD “Reclaim” (the help of Frost and Attila Csihar might have added to that). And then came “Armada”, easily one of the best albums of 2006 (for me, THE best) which is now being topped by the overwhelming “Kolossus”. Yes, “Kolossus” is even better than “Armada”, although it might take some time to realise that. “Kolossus” is more subtle, and at the same time in so many ways groundbreaking, that it might well be called avantgardistic.

Dear Avantgarde-lovers: you won’t find any strange beats, patterns, sounds or songstructures here, in fact, the songstructures are so standard or just plain “Metal” as it gets. No, we have to look somewhere else. I had an interesting conversation with Chrystof once, where we talked about new ways of interpreting Avantgarde, and we have one of them here: on “Kolossus” you will hear melodies and guitar accords which to my best knowledge have not been heard anywhere else, because combinations are tried which may sound weird but fit together somehow. Now, I doubt someone will object that Obsidian Claw is an exceptional guitar player, but this time he has surpassed himself with melodies that just can’t come from this world. He really tries to invent things that just weren’t there before (due to lack of skills or ideas I can’t say, but I believe the first may weigh heavily here) Combined with technical skills which eiter makes any guitar student commit suicide or practice every single free minute available, played in mostly unbelievable speed, this albums defines the meaning of might and power anew. Just listen to the second part of “Escape the Union”, the best example of weird melodies that send shivers down your spine. Or the monumental “The Mark of Power”, which starts with heavy references to “Wildhoney” and erupts into a blast-beat and melody-orgy. Speaking of drums: Vyl has gained some speed, skills and variety since “Armada”. And Thebon, the vocalist, is even able to growl and scream melodies which I find hilarious, in a positive way. I mean, no one else bothered to do that before (prove me wrong).

I labeled this Monumental Metal because not only the above mentioned takes place (and Obsidian C. and his mates obviously don’t care for genres anymore, or how would you explain flamenco-guitar interludes and solos?), the overall mood screams “power” and “might” that there is just no other label possible. It is not Black (too technical), it is not Death (too melodic), it is not Thrash (too diverse), not Heavy (too fast) or any other metal and yet all of them. KEEP OF KALESSIN is comparable only to itself. I mean it. It just doesn’t sound like anything else. And it is colossal, monumental and epic. Would the “Gladiator” or “Lord Of The Rings”- soundtrack have been Metal, here we had it.

-Tentakel P.


Release:  2008
Label:  Indie Recordings
Avantgenre:  Monumental Metal
Duration:  54:21
Origin:  Norway
Official site:
Review online since:  22.06.2008 / 16:21:35


01 – Origin
02 – A New Empire’s Birth
03 – Against The Gods
04 – The Rising Sun
05 – Warmonger
06 – Escape The Union
07 – The Mark Of Power
08 – Kolossus
09 – Ascendant

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