The huge waves that KEEP OF KALESSIN made with their third album, Armada, fueled the anticipation for their follow-up, Kolossus. While those who expected to be totally floored will be disappointed, Kolossus still maintains a good level of quality. The album carries with it the same storytelling approach but has more of an epic feel overall. Stylistically, KEEP OF KALESSIN continue the sound of the previous album with perhaps less thrashy parts. However, there is growth and elaboration in the song structures to give Kolossus a grander feel. Vocalist Thebon continues to grow as one of extreme metal’s more distinct and recognizable voices with his ability to use his voice in whichever way the song calls for. The rest of the band are tight and blast and pull back the throttle with ease. “Rising Sign” has a fantastic song section that slowly fades with some beautiful piano, strings, and acoustic guitars and gives way to sweeping heavy guitars. “Warmonger” gets the blood flowing with an up tempo thrash beat and a catchy chorus. It is here that guitarist/band leader Obsidian C. decides to unleash his lead guitar skills with a great solo that crescendos to a volcanic peak. The song also has an excellent clean guitar riff that is laid on top of the heaviness. The title track takes a while to get started but it turns into a blast fest and sees KEEP OF KALESSIN at their best. The intensity burns aways into a Middle Eastern-style lead guitar section which then leads to a totally epic, almost-movie like section. The song then boomerangs back to blasting intensity. Overall, listeners may have their patience tried when seeking big hooks, the harder hitting impact, or sense of urgency found on its predecessor. While there is plenty of good material here and some new dimensions to the band’s sound, the album feels as if it sometimes gets too lost in much of its embellishments or scope. (Nuclear Blast Records)

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