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Ketos - First Strike

First Strike
by Crisstopher Robyn at 09 May 2019, 6:40 PM

KETOS is a melodic thrash metal band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their complex combination of dueling guitars with heavy riffs and blistering solos, pounding drums, heavy growling with melodic vocals make KETOS an explosion of rage and anger. After recording their first E.P “Rise,” they have been playing the club scene North and Southern Ireland. The band’s name is a term for the ancient Greek mythological Kraken. KETOS have recently signed to Hostile Media and are now on the cusp of releasing their debut album, aptly entitled “First Strike”.  Drawing influence from a broad spectrum of genres and bands such as PARKWAY DRIVE and CHILDREN OF BODOM, the band have focused on creating catchy and heavy melodic driven songs that are littered with intricate lead guitar work. Let see what the Irish have for us!

Escape the Chains” starts off with intro that is just a barrage of guitar riffs and double bass. “Like waking up in a nightmare” sings Crenshaw Pete. The line just hits my ears well. The song is a fair show, but the guitar solo is quite good after the same notes over and over. It sticks out well as it draws out into a more elaborate show of skill. “Temptations” intro reminds me a bit of SLAYER, but after that it is a thrash fest that sounds more like MACHINE HEAD. The vocals switch from growls to singing and match the music very well. The guitars are really the stars of the song with the transitions and solo. “Ascendant” begins with a bass groove that seems to set the beat for the drums. Sadly, it is hidden under the guitars too far to really hear it. Again the vocals transition from deep growls to light singing but still give this Rob Flynn feel to the lyrics. Again the solo is a brilliant display that Kirk Hammett would be proud of. “The Lost Ones” shows the heavy yet soft side of the band. Crenshaw Pete’s clean vocals are clear though the entire song. The music itself has this slow grinding feel as it progresses, and yes, there is another great solo near the end. “First Strike” is the title track that starts off soft. As the song really begins, it is an intricate piece before the chaos hits for the verse. As thrashy as it is, the music switches to this heavy slow riff. Again, the sounds remind me of Rob Flynn and company. And what is a KETOS song without that great guitar solo. In a world of breakdowns, the band puts a staple into their name and style in every song.

I was bit skeptical when first starting this album. You research the band, read reviews just to find out where they are from, what their influences are, and what direction the band is heading. KETOS certainly have a very wide range of influences and creatively show off their talents. The album really is good with their transitions from each song and style, yet still hold their own flavor intact. If there is any downfall, I would have to say the bass guitar hiding everything else. I am not taking away anything from the band or their talents, this is just what I hear. “First Strike” is an album to be listened to, and the band is certainly to be watched.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Escape the Chains
2. Into The Maelstrom
3. Temptations
4. Harmacist
5. Ascendant
6. The Lost Ones
7. Full Force
8. Fall In Line
9. First Strike

Crenshaw Pete – Vocals
Dwayne Close – Guitar
Keith HD – Guitar
James Popple – Bass
Gareth Dick - Drums

Record Label: Hostile Media


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