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Reptillian

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 15, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Keep Of Kalessin are the masters of epic extreme metal and, on their second album for Nuclear Blast, the band take their unique and unmistakably progressive sound to a level that goes far beyond their raw, black metal roots. Mainman Obsidian C. is a former live guitarist for the legendary Satyricon and the band once counted drummer Frost (also of 1349) and Mayhem frontman Attila Csihar as members. Though these underground ties are still very much intact, the music they play now is far beyond their early days in Norway.

Reptilian is built upon that melodic but still seething feel of 2008's Kolossus and is a masterful, atmospheric album that rivals anything they've done previously while blowing all competitors out of the water. This growth far exceeds the strict and sometimes creatively stifling limitations of black metal, but it's also what makes them stand apart. After US tours with Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth and with more tours to come, Keep of Kalessin are indeed an unstoppable force!

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • ASIN: B003EH3IRI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By T. Osborn on June 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is quite simply a masterpiece. Attention to detail was maintained at every aspect of this recording, from each riff and drum fill all the way through production and mastering. This album will have you questioning whether Armada is still the band's best effort and possibily even whether or not you've ever heard any music this good. This album gives you almost an hour of blast beats, incredible melodies, classic Keep of Kalessin break downs, and solid/dark black metal with some hints of thrash and - lets face it - some of the best metal you've ever heard.

1. Dragon Iconography - 7:30
Slow to get started, but stick around for the ride. The song picks up and even at seven and a half minutes it leaves you wanting more. Thankfully at this point you've only exhausted about 13% of the album.
5 out of 5 stars

2. The Awakening - 8:19
If you're a fan you've probably already heard this song on their MySpace page. While the song is definitely great I do find that there are tracks on this album which are clearly better than this one. My only complaint with this song is that it tends to drone on towards the end. You may find yourself wondering if the song is ever really going to end and pondering feelings of deja vu.
5 out of 5 stars

3. Judgement - 5:10
Again, this song was available before release on the band's MySpace page. This track shows how Keep of Kalessin draws influence from all genres of metal by showcasing an insane thrash riff - probably better than I've ever heard any thrash band pull off. Anything you could possibly want from KoK is in this song.
5 out of 5 stars

4. The Dragontower - 4:43
This song landed KoK 3rd placed in the Eurovision contest.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I first discovered this band shortly after they released Armada back in 2006. They've been one of my favorite bands ever since. So what I have to say in the paragraphs below ought to be read with this understanding: I am a huge fan. Fortunately, I am rational and consistent enough to maintain my high standards in spite of the urge to love whatever Obsidian C. touches.

So, while this album is excellent, it just isn't Armada. I'd say it's on par with Kolossus, which wasn't Armada either. I don't think they've changed their approach or anything, it's just that the riffs don't feel like a revelation anymore. All the elements are there, just without the stark. If you've listened to Armada, then you'll know what I'm talking about and need read no further. If not, then read on.

The Awakening is an excellent opener: plenty of blast beats, some clean vocals, and tons of blazingly-fast, semi-melodic riffing. One of the things that sets Keep Of Kalessin apart from other black metal acts is that they refuse to over burden the song with needless and self-indulgent riffing. I'd site this song as an example.

The most notably new element on this record (apart from the increasing usage of clean vocals) is the inclusion of mid-tempo rhythms. While this can get a bit tedious at times, as a whole I feel it makes the album stronger, breaking up the super-speed onslaught. The DragonTower and Dark As Moonless Night feel downright slow in Keep of Kalessin's catalogue, and personally, I don't object. You can make up your own mind about The DragonTower, which feels almost like a pop song. Personally, I like it. But I could just as easily see myself hating it.

While there certainly aren't any even mediocre songs on Reptilian, I'd say that Judgment and The Divine Land are this record's standout tracks and would give most of the songs on Armada a run for their money. Don't expect to find a Wealth of Darkness or a Crown of The Kings though.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had pretty high expectations for this release from Keep of Kalessin, and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. With this CD the band seems to have matured and diversified a bit more from "Kolossus," their previous release...there's even a song that's drenched liberally in blackened power-metally goodness entitled "The Dragontower," a nice change-up.
If you liked their previous two releases I'd say you're pretty safe in getting this one; they've become consistently excellent.
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Format: Audio CD
I just these guy's live last night with Mayhem and Hate, and these guy's stole the show. They are kind of like a blend of Enslaved, Amon Amarth and very...very talented. Great band - great cd.
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This CD has so many moments of very good metal, but then it's ruined by amateurish blast beats with a snare hit like 5 times a second. That's such garbage. They go from a band showing tons of talent and individuality but then morph into a band that is a dime a dozen these days, completely ruining what has to be lots of hard work on an otherwise very good song. They really begin to take you someplace in a song, and I mean some really good music, then just seem to scrap it and throw in the same ole blast beats a 10 yr old can do. These guys show so much potential and promise.....including the drummer, way too much in fact, to be inconsequential and tossed in the heap with the hundreds of other blast beating bands that can't reign in their drummer and stop him from ruining the music. Either that or find another drummer with a larger repertiore who will add to the music instead of stopping it cold.
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