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Veteran Norwegian black metal troupe Keep of Kalessin return with their fourth endeavor, the nine-track KOLOSSUS. Emanating from the depths of traditional black metal, this unit opts to expand its musical horizons by incorporating a slew of other styles into their dark riff heavy mix, adding textures from the spectrum of metal to their template of furious metal for a listening experience that will confound purists and stimulate the open-minded. Tracks like "Ascendant" pounds out with a Killing Joke-like element, "Warmonger" takes a death 'n roll approach, and "The Rising Sun" features a lush classical music outro, yet a gritty black metal underbelly still remains prevalent, even during the quieter passages found on the tantalizing title track. Longtime fans will be taken aback by the unit's progressive nuances, yet those in tune with the later works of Opeth and Emperor will have no problem embracing Keep of Kalessin's amalgamation of raw power and radical atmosphere into the fold.
- Mike SOS