Rating:
8.2
Keep Of Kalessin - Armada
27 March 2006


01. Surface
02. Crown Of The Kings
03. The Black Uncharted
04. Vengeance Rising
05. Many Are We
06. Winged Watcher
07. Into The Fire
08. Deluge
09. The Wealth Of Darkness
10. Armada


There is no question in my mind as to why this album was nominee in the Black Metal album of the year category in The Metal Storm Awards 2006. It is rare to find a Black Metal band so unique these days, after it seemed that everything that could be done with Black Metal has been done, Keep Of Kalessin releases "Armada." Before I go any further with this review, this is the only Keep Of Kalessin material Ive heard, so all commentary is NOT based on relativity to any of their other albums.

For those of you who are not familiar with Keep Of Kalessin, the best way I could describe them would be to say if Marduk & Opeth had a child. This album is filled with vicious thrashed-out black metal riffs, intensely fast drum work and torturing screeches, but is also balanced out with more mellow periods with cleanish vocals & incredible acoustic solos. Another notable part is the lyrical content, it's absolutely fantastic, mostly consisting of battle-esque type lyrics that you could picture being sung by a power metal band; instead they fit extremely well with the black metal vocals, giving a very powerful atmosphere to the music that is lacking in the cookie cutter "Hail Satan" type black metal lyrics that many bands seem to be following.

There are also a few problems with the album that may have prevented Keep Of Kalessin from actually receiving the award for Black Metal album of the year (other than the fact that they aren't as well known as some of their competitors). Three tracks come to mind, the first being "Surface" which although is only an intro track it doesn't really build up and fill the listener with anticipation as most intro tracks should do. The second track being "Into The Fire" which by all means is a great black metal song but fails to live up to any other songs on the album as far as stand-out, unique music goes (but oddly enough got chosen for there music video). The third being "Deluge" which is an instrumental track and is by far one of the most boring instrumentals I have heard to date; I was expecting some intense acoustic guitar work but instead got 3 minutes of a boring distorted riff being played over and over. The fourth and final problem with this album is that three of the tracks seem to have close to the identical intro riffs, making the album slightly tedious.

Overall this thrashy prog-like black metal band has put out quite an impressive album, making probably the most unique black metal sound Ive heard in a long time, and is a must have for all people who are even interested in black metal in the slightest

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Keep Of Kalessin
Album: Armada


 


written by Doc Godin | 12.03.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Katatronik - 12.03.2007 at 14:23  
In my opinion, this is the best Black Metal release of the 2006, a really amazing album!
I like your review man... But I'd give it a 9 at this work!
Ozman - 14.03.2007 at 00:41  
I can understand that people really like this album. But calling it unique is a bit weird, cause there's absolutely nothing unique about Armada.
Doc Godin - 14.03.2007 at 00:43  
Written by Ozman on 14.03.2007 at 00:41

I can understand that people really like this album. But calling it unique is a bit weird, cause there's absolutely nothing unique about Armada.

Ive yet to hear a black metal band that sounds like this.
Southern Wind - 14.03.2007 at 01:13  
I agree with Marcel about Keep Of Kalessin not being original (for me sound like a rawer Enslaved in this album), but Armada is not bad at all... over-production works on my nerves, that's true, but musically I have no big complaints about this album...

And I don't really ask for originality, especially in black metal.... while they're not darkthrone clones, it's ok for me.
Ozman - 14.03.2007 at 01:27  
Written by Guest on 14.03.2007 at 01:13

but Armada is not bad at all... over-production works on my nerves, that's true, but musically I have no big complaints about this album...




That's my problem with Armada as well, the over-production. I prefer their Reclaim album and oder albums because of the rawer sound. But live KoK was quite enjoyable.
Hyvaarin - 27.07.2007 at 10:45  
I actually really, really like "Deluge". Obviously not the best song on the album (*cough* title track), but still.
Infurnace - 27.07.2007 at 15:16  
One of my favorite 2006 releases. It's a real masterpiece. I do really like the sound and stuff. It's just great.
Valaskjalf - 28.07.2007 at 15:32  
Best album of 2006 by far....definitely much better than 8.2 for me closer to 9.2. Absolutely fantastic!
Doc Godin - 15.09.2007 at 08:54  
Written by Ozman on 14.03.2007 at 01:27

Written by Guest on 14.03.2007 at 01:13

but Armada is not bad at all... over-production works on my nerves, that's true, but musically I have no big complaints about this album...




That's my problem with Armada as well, the over-production. I prefer their Reclaim album and oder albums because of the rawer sound. But live KoK was quite enjoyable.

Yeah I probably should have included something about the sound might not be all that pleasing to those people who prefer the rawer black metal.
Sunioj - 17.09.2007 at 12:29  
This gets a 7 from me...Through times of War or Agnen is so much more interesting to listen to. Not saying this album isn't worth hearing, because I would definetly recommend this album to a few people, it just seems like Kok found a formula that sounded good, added lightspeed triplets and approached that formulae from differrent angles throughout the album.
danilovicda4 - 13.11.2007 at 18:36  
I think that to call this album black metal is reductive , this is more black/death metal and really kicks asses!
I hadn't heard something like that since Sacramentum "The coming of chaos" back in 1997!
Passenger - 06.04.2008 at 14:38  
Great Black Metal album, enjoyable even for those not typically into Black Metal, which, I think it's a plus.
Uirapuru - 18.03.2010 at 20:26  
I also prefer their two previous ''rawer'' works. This one continues with the incessant heaviness, but with acoustic interludes and occasional clean vocals.

Good enough, but not unique to me as well.
Hammer Pie - 23.03.2010 at 02:18  
Deluge and the intro track aren't great, but other than that the album is amazing.
Boxcar Willy - 27.08.2011 at 19:51  
Written by Doc Godin on 14.03.2007 at 00:43

Written by Ozman on 14.03.2007 at 00:41

I can understand that people really like this album. But calling it unique is a bit weird, cause there's absolutely nothing unique about Armada.

Ive yet to hear a black metal band that sounds like this.


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