Lift yourselves from your Sunday morning slumbers and feast your carnivorous ears on the wonders of Keep of Kalessin. We could run off at the mouth with genre labels and call this Norwegian band’s just-released fifth album blackened, paganized, anthemic, proggy, power melodic death metal. Or, we could keep it simple and just call Reptilian dragon metal. You know, simple things for simple people.
Thematically, Keep of Kalessin has always included elements of fantasy and folklore in their music. “Kalessin” itself is the name of the arch-dragon in the wonderful Earthsea trilogy written by Ursula K. Le Guin between 1968 and 1972. But in Reptilian, Keep of Kalessin have given themselves over entirely to the worship of “claw and fang,” in homage to the imagined reawakening of the “reptilian king of kings.” And musically, the creative fires in the lair of these dragonlords have never burned hotter.
We were first drawn to this album back in April by the announcement of its amazing cover art by Brazilian graphic designer Marcelo Vasco, and we included it in the first installment of our “Eye-Catchers” series. At that point, we had one track from the forthcoming album (“The Awakening”) available to us on the band’s MySpace page, and were bowled over by it. Now, we’ve heard the entire album, and it’s filled to overflowing with draconic treasure. (more after the jump, including a track for you to hear . . .) Continue reading »