It seems shameful that I haven’t done one of these posts about Keep of Kalessin. Where to start… Keep of Kalessin (besides having an incredible name) are one of those bands that put out a couple incredible early albums then descended into crap. In this case, their first two albums (and the EP Reclaim) are the best albums of their career. And those albums are incredible. Blistering, aggressive, ferocious Norwegian black metal. These are underrated classics for sure. I was stuck on their first album for so long I didn’t even bother to check out the second until today and yeah, it’s just as impressive. It gets a little more melodic and I guess could be a sign of what’s to come for this band but even the understated melody is nothing compared to what they become. The follow up to this album, Armada, moved the band into a more “melodic” black metal sound, a more commercial sound. A sound they’re still beating to death today on their newest album from this year, but let’s not focus on that. This album, along with their first album are incredible works of late 90′s Norwegian black metal. All the fury and brutality mixed with some nice melodic guitar work and a couple quieter moments that sneak into the mix. If you’ve started to skim the surface of Norwegian black metal, dig a little deeper with Keep of Kalessin. Not the most obscure of the genre, but definitely these early albums are overlooked.