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Caestus – The Undoer’s Key

The Undoer’s Key
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 January 2022, 1:24 PM

Formed in Finland in 2021, this new trio of Black Metallers present their debut full-length album here, titled “The Undoer’s Key.” With no information included in the EPK, which isn’t uncommon for the genre, we are going to have to let the music do the talking for us. The album contains nine tracks.

“Reclamation” leads us off. It opens with screeching guitars and muted production, sounding a bit like a cross between Thrash and Black Metal to me, especially with the guitar progressions. “Ultimate Weapon” has a slower groove with wildly crashing cymbals and more rage filled vocals. As it rolls forward, the evil sounds of the song increase to the point where it threatens your very being. The title track isn’t a whole lot different than the previous two tracks, though at times the band is presenting somewhat linear riffs and less of the Black Metal screeching.

“Burning Hope” begins with a heaver riff of a punishing nature, but soon digresses to the previous energy of the first few tracks. “Pariah’s Crown” features yet another wall of sound that does not let up. It slows just a bit around the half-way mark to let some more harrowing sounds develop, but is soon swallowed by the previous sound. “Condescenders” is another fast-moving track of wild drums with a wall of guitars, and one where the bass is lost in the mix. I suppose I will never understand why Black Metal often drowns out the bassist…why even have one?

“Muinaisen Kunnain Taika” opens with hateful tones out of the gates. They mix in some slower elements at times with a bit of creativity but those vocals never quit. Musically, this song is a bit better but vocally, it really isn’t. “Dawn of Reckoning” is the first track that presents some variation. The vocals are both deeper and semi-clean at times, and the clean guitars are unlike the standard in the genre. “Omnipotent Defect” closes the album. This song features both fast and slow paced Black Metal, and there is again a little variation as we come to the end of the album, but it’s too little, too late for me.

Overall, this was an odd combination of Old School FWOBM approaches with some modern twists. But it was too close to the former style for me. Without any variation in the vocals or much in the riffs, it just didn’t make for a very memorable listening experience.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Reclamation
2. Ultimate Weapon
3. The Undoer’s Key
4. Burning Hope
5. Pariah’s Crown
6. Condescenders
7. Muinaisen Kunnain Taika
8. Dawn of Reckoning
9. Omnipotent Defect
Adar – Bass
Vexd – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Skyrmion – Vocals, Drums
Record Label: Purity Through Fire Records


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