KEEP OF KALESSIN: Kolossal Ascension

Norwegian black metallers KEEP OF KALESSIN‘s outstanding last album Armada positioned the band to take it a step higher.  With a new label home in Nuclear Blast Records and new album in Kolossus, KEEP OF KALESSIN have their sights set on becoming the next big band from Norway.  APESHIT caught up with the band (sans drummer Vyl) right before their set in Anaheim, CA opening for BEHEMOTH and DIMMU BORGIR to talk about their ambitions, the process of creating Kolossus, and continuing the legacy of Norwegian black metal.

APESHIT: Alongside DIMMU BORGIR and BEHEMOTH, KEEP OF KALESSIN are on one of the biggest underground metal package tours so far this year.  How’s everything going so far?

Obsidian C.: Amazing so far… being able to play for these kinds of venues.  This is basically the best start in the U.S. we could ever [have] hoped for.

Wizziac: It’s just amazing how many people show up.  Like you said, it’s an underground metal tour, and people are only here to see extreme metal.  I think that’s actually quite unique to have a big tour like this for only the darker side of metal.

APESHIT: Have you been having fun with the guys from DIMMU and BEHEMOTH?

Obsidian C: Yes, we are getting along very good.

APESHIT: Are you guys going to be playing songs from the first two albums and EP?

Obsidian C: Well, we only have a 30 minute set and with our song lengths, that means actually just four songs.  So we have chosen two songs from Armada, one from the new album, Kolossus–which is not out yet, it will be out here in America on June 10th–and then one song from the Reclaim EP.

APESHIT: Armada is a very crucial album, a turning point for the band.  You guys got a lot of widespread attention and critical acclaim.  Also, the band’s sound evolved a lot, incorporating other styles of metal.  What influenced you to expand your sound on Armada?

Obsidian C: It was just a natural evolution of the band to take that direction. I think if you listen to Agnen, the second album, you can hear a lot of same riffing styles.  But the problem was lack of money or lack of production, the Agnen album never really sounded as good as it could have been.  And the band was much younger, and we didn’t have any experience and skills to pull it off until Armada.  So I think it has always been a natural evolution that, finally on Armada, came together as it should.

APESHIT: With Kolossus coming out, what can metal fans expect from the album?

Obsidian C: You can expect a very diverse album [from] a band that is not afraid of doing something different and a band that is not afraid of breaking the mold of black metal.  It’s a very big and epic sounding album.  It’s like the biggest songs from Armada taken to the next level.  I think it will be a very natural successor to Armada.

APESHIT: Tell us about your own rehearsal studio which you’ve utilized for the recording of Kolossus.  With that in mind, how did the recording process for Kolossus go?

Obsidian C: I think with this process, we probably couldn’t have it any other way.  We like to explore a lot in the studio instead of just rehearsing and then going into the studio for, maybe, just two weeks and recording without enough rehearsal.  Especially when it comes to the vocals, it’s important to try different angles and different approaches to the vocal styles.  So it’s really important to have enough time to explore that stuff.  But then again, it’s really hard to keep the band’s spirit up for three or four months of recording.  It’s both good and bad, but it’s a challenge to stay in the studio that long.  We actually always waited on the vocals until we’re actually finished with the recording of all other instruments.  We have done that with all our previous albums.  It’s just a natural way for me to work.

APESHIT: You noted in your studio report that you are only taking a week off between recording Kolossus and the next KEEP OF KALESSIN album.  Why such the quick turnaround?

Obsidian C: We were supposed to do that.  We were supposed to start the next album, but the production of Kolossus took a lot longer than expected.  So we didn’t actually have time because we had a few shows coming up, and we had to get ready for that.  Then this tour came along, so it was actually impossible for us to start recording the next album.  But we’ll start doing pre-production and stuff.  We have actually started pre-production on some of the songs.  But we’ll start when get back from this tour.

APESHIT: With that original goal, were there ever any plans to release Kolossus as a double album?

Obsidian C: We were thinking about that early on, but then we decided to focus on getting one album out right now.  And then we’ll do the next.  After the next album, we are actually thinking of doing a double album that will be a huge, epic thing!

APESHIT: With the response that Armada has a received and the band’s increased activity, would you say that now is the most creative and exciting time for the band?

Obsidian C: Definitely.  It’s been a hell of a ride since the release of Armada.  In the past two years, we have done so much more than all the 13 years prior to that.  So, definitely the most exciting period.

APESHIT: Why did you decide to license the album to Nuclear Blast in the U.S.?

Obsidian C: Because Nuclear Blast is a very good label, and we were looking for partners who were really fans of the band and want to work with the band.  If you look at the record that Nuclear Blast has with all the bands from Europe doing pretty well in the States…and because they believe the most in the band, it was the natural thing to do.  They really are fans of the band.

APESHIT: Where do you envision taking the band? Do you want to elevate to DIMMU or BEHEMOTH status?  Or are there obstacles limiting what you can achieve like work, school, or family?

Thebon: I think the goal is to go as far as we can.  We don’t have much [inaudible]… this is what we do.

Wizziac: I would quit my day job if that was the case.

Obsidian C: We definitely want to be the next DIMMU or even METALLICA for that matter [laughs].  That’s quite impossible, but of course we want to go as far as possible.  Making music is our living and everyone in the band has that as our goal, our top priority.

APESHIT: A great example of a fast-rising band is BEHEMOTH, because they were on Avantgarde Music like you were, and they were licensed for Olympic Recordings in America.  Then Olympic went out of business and Century Media decided to take on BEHEMOTH.  Then it just took off from there, and they’re playing all these tours.  Now you see all these BEHEMOTH shirts out there!

Obsidian C: We will definitely work hard to do that.  But it’s also a matter of keeping our network with all the correct contacts to get all the right kind of tours and stuff.  So that’s really important, to tour a lot in the States.  And, we are willing to do that, but it’s not always that easy.  We are not big enough to headline yet, even though we meet fans everyday that say, “Hey, you guys should come and play more often.”  We want to… if someone would give us the opportunity.

APESHIT: Every member of KEEP OF KALESSIN is extremely talented as musicians. Do you ever feel that there is no limit to what you can do technically and creatively?

Obsidian C: I think there are a lot of bands better than us, individually.  You have all kinds of crazy bands that have guitarists with great technique and drummers who are just insane.  But, the most important thing for us is to create atmosphere and our own sounds like we are our own band.  We don’t want to sound like anyone else, and making good songs is the most important part for us… and adding playing skills to the atmosphere without compromising the music is the most important thing.

APESHIT: Obsidian C., your guitar playing style is unique.  You mix different strumming patterns and accentuate notes well.  Despite the fast, busy playing, there is a lot of clarity.  How did you develop your style of guitar playing?

Obsidian C: It’s kind of hard to explain how I developed the style.  It’s been a priority to sound like no one else.  I started out playing heavy metal stuff, then got into black metal.  Now I’m just incorporating all the different guitar styles I’ve been playing all along, like blues and stuff like that… especially thrash metal.  I always think melody when I’m making the riffs and while I’m thinking of the different chords while the melody is progressing.  It’s just been the same with the band.  It’s been a natural development for me to evolve in that direction.  It just happened on its own because of the melodies and atmospheres I try to create.  A couple of us here have become more aware of how I should do it and evolve that unique style even more.

APESHIT:  Black metal has come a long way.  No longer are there $30 import CDs and kids in high schools are wearing DARKTHRONE or EMPEROR shirts.  What do you guys think of Norwegian black metal in 2008 and how it has grown?

Obsidian C: I think its great to see that it has been accepted as a leading genre.  It’s almost as important as any other metal genre.  I also think that there was a certain atmosphere with the [black metal] albums from the 90’s.  I also think it’s a collective goal to try to retain some of that atmosphere because all of those bands have changed so much that the atmosphere is lacking on their new albums.  So i think that it’s important to keep that certain atmosphere that was [prominent] in ’93-’97, maybe.  There were so many good albums coming from Norway.  I think that was really something unique in that era.  As far as album sales and how big the bands are now, I think it’s great that the bands are much bigger.  Everyone deserves it.

11,851 thoughts on “KEEP OF KALESSIN: Kolossal Ascension

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!|

  2. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.|

  3. I’m extremely pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also have you book marked to check out new things on your site.

  4. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a great job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Chrome. Outstanding Blog!|

  5. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m glad to exhibit that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make sure to don’t forget this site and provides it a look on a constant basis.

  6. Greetings, I believe your site may be having web browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent website!

  7. I used to be very happy to find this internet-site.I wanted to thanks on your time for this glorious read!! I positively having fun with each little little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  8. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.|

  9. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you|

  10. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you!

  11. Iím impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  12. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now ;)|

  13. Hello there, There’s no doubt that your site may be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic blog!

  14. Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  16. Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  17. I feel this is among the most vital info for me. And i’m happy reading your article. However wanna commentary on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is actually excellent : D. Just right job, cheers

  18. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect website.

  19. Great web site you have here.. Itís hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  20. Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  21. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

  22. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?|

  23. Can I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody who really knows what they’re talking about over the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you aren’t more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

  24. Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  25. Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  26. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  27. That is very fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *