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Review: Kêres – Ice, Vapor and Crooked Arrows

by Daniel Pinheiro

Kêres – Ice, Vapor and Crooked Arrows

1. Dream Of Clouds
2. The Sleeping Master
3. At The Arch Of Victories
4. Grail Dance
5. Into The Underworld
6. Moon Guide
7. Instrumental
8. The Tall Ones
9. Sleepers Below

Label: Terratur Possessions
Date: August 21, 2019

Finland has always been a fertile terrain in terms of Extreme Metal, and Black Metal in specific. Bands like Beherit, Archgoat, Impaled Nazarene or Clandestine Blaze have, throughout the years, crafted a very particular Black metal sound, that sound you know is… Finnish. There are anger and rage, there is violent landscapes painted with musical notes! A band like Beherit helped path the way for the most brutal and powerful side of Black Metal, leaving forever a mark in the genre.

This “line of work” was not abandoned by the Fins the moment Nuclear Holocausto decided to put Beherit to rest after 2008’s extremely well conceived – in my opinion – “Engram” (are we actually expecting a new Beherit release?). No. That primitive side of their musical compositions is well alive and definitely kicking! Many bands have carried that flag for the scene and have endured through the years, and Kêres is one of those bands – again, and always, in my opinion – that can say, with pride, that are keeping the flame alive!

“Polluting” the scene since 2004, Kêres have given us over 20 releases, be it Demos, Eps, Splits and Full-length albums. A ferocious outlook on Black Metal is overly present in their work. The production, good enough for you to hear the instruments and the way they intertwine amongst them, giving lines, melodic lines working side by side with this wall of distortion… closer to Beherit than to Impaled Nazarene, maybe. The voice, full of fire and venom, spits lyrics over earsplitting guitars. Solos are actually present here. Short but extremely effective moments in which the guitar is the commanding officer and all other instruments follow.

To be honest, the Beherit structure worked better, for me, a few years ago, and when “Engram” came out, and I loved it and realized it was my favourite Beherit release, ever… I knew I had a “situation”. This just to say: sometimes a vehement and primitive sound might become… Boring, dull, tedious, tiresome… True (or Trve, sorry). But, to fight that situation, Kêres has added some moments in which one feels like one is stepping out of that train and absorbing something else, that it should not be there, by old standards. “Grail Dance” has these moments where all the ferocity is put aside and we almost have simple atmospheric sounds. Sounds strange. I know, right?

This is not Beherit. This does, in fact, carry some of that anger and that blood pouring gut feeling: this is Black Metal… With some moments of ambiance (“Into the Underworld”… Wow! “Moon Guide”, damn! Melody, Folk, Black Metal).

This is Finnish Balck Metal in all its glory… And some added elements. For those that are not familiar with the band, this is their 5th LP, and a really good one, in fact! The production really helps add that sort of necro, rotten sound to it. You will just love it… Or not… But it is good, I assure you!

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