Power of Metal.dk Review

Keep of Kalessin
Style: Extreme Metal
Release date: 16 February, 2015
Playing time: 52:18

It has been 5 long years since Keep of Kalessin's last effort was released, back when their previous front-man “Thebon” was still a member of the band. It is natural for one to assume that his departure would cause Epistemology to sound slightly different. As it turns out, the vocals is not the only element that is different on this album. Upon listening, one would realize the refreshing new sounds that has not been explored by the band before. Changes which come not only by a handful but by a boastful amounts. The now trio exhibits a new kind of grandiosity that is well strung and constructed resulting to eight exquisite tracks.

One of the interesting additions is the more apparent use of orchestrations which fully illuminate the themes of the album – it contributes a very melodic and spacey resonance. Obsidian C. now also takes care of the harsh vocals in addition to providing the soft and unique clean vocals. As usual, Vyl excels at what he does, perhaps playing some of the most varied drumming patterns I have heard from him up-to-date. I could say the same for Wizziac as Epistemology truly is a new territory for the band.

You will get a taste of the familiar and conventional Keep of Kalessin sound from songs like “Universal Core” and “Dark Divinity” while “Necropolis” is not a very familiar one - it might as well have been a completely different band. It was utterly unrecognizable and features quite a lot of hooky death metal grooves and there was even a use of a tambourine?! I would say it is the “Dragon Tower” of the album. “The Grand Design” is in its own category of interesting with its unusual composition and galloping timbres. “Spiritual Relief” possesses characteristics of the old and the new, it is somewhere in between. It has slow romanticized parts as well as aggressive and reputable thrashy components to it; the repeating almost chant-like chorus reminds me of the technique used in the newer Ensiferum. “Epistemology” is mostly an instrumental from the 2:30 mark until the end. It is a piece in which Obsidian C. showcases his soloing and guitar wankery. I have always known he was a riff machine but he proves that he can be a guitar virtuoso as well. His guitar tones very well suit the warm and dark ambiance of the album.

As a proper review, I must admit the parts that made me cringe within Epistemology. I believe the spoken parts in “Dark Divinity” and “Spiritual Relief” could have been improved and the clean vocals could have been clearer. As great as it was to listen to this album, unfortunately it does not top as my favorite Keep of Kalessin album thus far, but they have really pushed their strengths and experimented with much more. It is an album worth listening to.

01. Cosmic Revelation (01:14) (instrumental)
02. The Spiritual Relief (09:54)
03. Dark Divinity (07:34)
04. The Grand Design (07:38)
05. Necropolis (07:19)
06. Universal Core (03:54)
07. Introspection (05:05)
08. Epistemology (09:40)
Label: Indie Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 95/100
Reviewed by: Haydee G.
Date: 14 February, 2015
Website: www.keepofkalessin.com