Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 6/10/2008
Keep of Kalessin
posted on 8/2008 By:
For many, the conceptual follow up to the well received Armada, is the primary black metal event of the year. However, despite its magnificence, Kolossus suffers the same issue as Armada; sheer brilliance mingled with maddening mediocrity.
Case and point, tantalizing intro “Origin” hints at something really special and epic to come, but instead “A New Empire’s Birth” fizzles, losing any momentum. If the track had simply started with the riff at 1:43, expectations might have been satiated, but to be honest, in my opinion the hot/cold Kolossus doesn’t really get going until the brilliant fourth track, “The Rising Sign”, which on a nine track album would usually be a huge issue, but the good material here is so damn good it makes up for the frustrating filler.
Drenched with Thebon's slightly cleaner rasps and even a few gruff, semi clean croons as well as Obsidian Claw's trademark, blisteringly epic and melodic riffage, the album’s second half (with possibly the exception of the more rock ‘n’ roll start of “Warmonger”) is a sweeping cinematic score of blackened majesty. From the glorious mid section of the aforementioned “The Rising Sign” through “Escape the Union”, the rousingly epic “The Mark of Power”, the epically searing title track and sudden closer “Ascendant”, the latter half of the album matches Armada’s best tracks note for gloriously scathing note. Admittedly, black metal purists will sneer at Keep of Kalessin’s polished production and vocal antics, but as far as delivery of some truly majestic moments, Keep of Kalessin are virtually unbeatable.
Ultimately if your took Armada’s standout’s (“Crown of Kings, “The Black Uncharted”, "Wealth of Darkness”, “Armada” ) and threw in the last half of Kolossus, you’d arguably have one of the best black metal albums of the last decade. But as it stands, Kolossus, along with Armada simply stand as two very good albums in their own right, that miss the potential of something greater.
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