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Kalmen - Funeral Seas

Funeral Seas
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 November 2018, 6:36 AM

KALMEN is Doomed Psychedelic Black Metal from Dresden/Berlin/Halle in Germany and was founded in 2009. After releasing their self-produced Demo “Kalmen” in 2011, the first full-length album “Course Hex” was announced by Ván Records in July 2015. KALMEN manifested their cold and cloudy musical fondness within five songs full of berserk doom riffing and blazing black metal assaults. A duskier trip into hypnotic soundscapes and deep oceans of spiritual blackness. For the second full-length “Funeral Seas” the band decided to proceed the cooperation with Tobias Engl/Englsound for production and Matias Ahonen/Audiamond for mastering, who both also refine the musical rawness and strength of “Funeral Seas”. The vocal recordings were done by Thomas Schmidt/Soundzero Audio. There are seven tracks on the new album.

“Spectral” opens the album, and is the longest song, clocking in at just over ten minutes. The opening effects sound like a wooden ship, sailing over calm seas. The main riff is slow, cautious and despondent. The vocals are tortured screams, as the track begins to pick up just after the three-minute mark, and then it’s back to that desolate riff. It picks up again in a crescendo towards the end. “Thieving Sky” opens with some whispers and mystery, with a riff that is barely there at all. Death vocals are carried into the wind in this maelstrom of a track. Bleak, cold and sterile, there isn’t much to hold onto here. “Portal” is more linear in scope…depressing, with vocals that sound like they are coming from a broken man who has thrown in the towel. But, it beckons with continuing anger.

“Uninfinite Black” is a four-minute song with a repetitive guitar riff and some high reaching Death vocals. The tortured screams continue, getting inside your head where you are unable to turn them down. “Swansong” opens with slow, semi-distorted guitars, but you know the crash is coming. It slowly creeps forward, with a mesmerizing riff, designed to slowly pulverize you over time. “Arcane Heresies” opens with a steady drum beat, and an almost jovial riff, at least compared to some of the earlier tracks. It soon turns dark and desolate however, with angry vocals and an attacking riff. It gets psychedelic towards the end, swirling everything together into a slurry of sounds and effects. “Searenade” closes the album. Riff and vocals combine for a harrowing affair, without bass or drums. Vocals call out in the wind, unheard and unanswered. The main riff slowly crushes your soul, squeezing the life out of you until there is nothing left.

Overall, this was a very despondent and depressing album, done with the care of making you feel as though you are totally alone in the world, and nothing is good and there is no hope. It’s not anything overly original, but it is effective at doing the job.

Songwriting; 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Spectral
2. Thieving Sky
3. Portal
4. Uninfinite Black
5. Swansong
6. Arcane Heresies
7. Searenade
Marc – Bass, Vocals
Jana – Guitars
Thomas “Schmidti” Schmidt – Guitars, Vocals
Orpheus – Drums
Record Label: Van Records


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