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Keiser - Our Wretched Demise

Keiser
Our Wretched Demise
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 November 2020, 9:16 AM

Formed in Norway in 2015, KEISER is a Black Metal quartet with one previous album under their belt, titled “Succubus” in 2017. Now, they present their sophomore effort “Our Wretched Demise,” which contains nine new tracks. “Prelude to War” leads off the album. It’s an under-one-minute mood setting track, with eerie noises leading to “Scourge of the Wicked.” Black Metal bands can generally go one way or the other…the first being sticking to the same formulas of the forefathers of the genre in Trve Kult form…the second being willing to shift gears outside of this and blaze your own trail. There are elements of both going on here. The riffing is unusual and although the vocals are fairly traditional, the band plays with some originality here.

“Cannons of War” opens with a slow staccato riff and short vocal shrieks. A quick guitar solo ushers in the main riff. That “wall” of sound is just not present here, much to my liking. There is a bit of dissonance in the guitar chords but also some melodic notes, which again is unusual in the genre. “When Fire Rides the Night Sky” begins with a bit more of a traditional Black Metal sound. That main riff is powerful and the softer passage with audible bass guitar is very charming. “Shroud” opens with a frantic pace. The main riff is established and it’s clear that these guys are pushing the envelope of Black Metal to places it hasn’t been before. More melody comes in with the guitar solo. This is a fantastic song.

“Far from Human” is a quick, three-minute blast of galloping guitars and drums, and some meter shifting. This isn’t your dad’s Black Metal, that’s for sure. It’s intelligent, crafty and well-written. “The Fog” is a quick one-and-a-half-minute song, with clean guitars and a doleful sound. “Eternal Onslaught” begins with a big bang of sound. As the riffing settles in, you can hear more of the masterful songwriting come to life. Close to the half-way mark, it slows, soaking up into your body like rain on a cold fall day. It slows again to take a pause, with clean guitars and some powerful distorted riffing. The melodies here are quite alluring, and unusual for the genre. “Our Wretched Demise” closes the album, at over ten-minutes in length. The sound is sad and depressing, and the riffing varies. This is a mighty track, where the band plays with absolute confidence. It finishes with a bit of a melodic ending.

Overall, I found this to be a very well-written Black Metal album, where the band was clearly not afraid of taking some chances. Though they are relatively new to the genre, you can hear their vision in their music, and they play so well together. Genre boundaries are tossed out the window, as they pave their own path in the genre. This is what I have come to love about the Black Metal genre…artists who can still play in the traditions of the genre, but also add in their own personalities so that it stands out from the veritable sea of bands out there trying to do the same thing.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prelude to War
2. Scourge of the Wicked
3. Cannons of War
4. When Fire Rides the Nightsky
5. Shroud
6. Far from Human
7. The Fog
8. Eternal Onslaught
9. Our Wretched Demise
Lineup:
Mikael Aasnes Torseth – Vocals, Guitar
William Aamodt – Guitar
Geir Marvin Johansen – Drums, Vocals
Jon Einar Hektoen – Bass
Record Label: Non-Serviam Records
     


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