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Saturday, December 26, 2009

KenoN: From The Void Came... Chaos

Year Released: 2009
Website: http://www.myspace.com/kenonepic
Label: Qualm Records


1. Attero Preteritus [2:48]

2. De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium [4:25]

3. From The Void Came... Chaos [2:38]

4. Sacrificial Chamber [4:43]

5. Hordes Of A Lost Empire [5:42]

6. Throne Of Thorns [5:13]

7. Porta ut a Novus Suscipio [1:39]


The genre of black metal usually strikes a typical metalhead as being a very European kind of thing, but guess what? This week's album review is about the debut record of a very new American black metal band, Californian in fact, called KenoN.

Here's a piece of advice from yours Truly, when you get sick and tired of listening to those polished, professional recordings done by big time metal bands, listening to raw records from infant metal bands once in a while could serve to revitalize your interest in metal again. There is something in raw records that professional records cannot offer, and that is the very original essence of the band present in those unpolished tracks. KenoN is sounding good on this debut, as even though it is a raw record, they have a very good, dark essence indeed. After the initial appetizer acoustic track, the very first barrage of guitar riffs from "Attero Preteritus" emanates such sinister brutality that I cannot help but be reminded of senior black metal bands like Anaal Nathrakh and Belphegor.

These demons who arose from nothingness are: From left to right - Stygian (Backup Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards), Sison (Synthesizers), Neon Sun (Guitar, Comic Relief), Prometheus (Vocals, Guitar)

The use of keyboards frequently throughout the 7 tracks is an added bonus too, and it really helps to score some points with potential new fans, because almost every metalhead knows that keyboards typically stir up a surreal atmosphere with the haunting yet beautiful melodies they are capable of dishing out.

Even if a raw record may be awful to listen to (I'm not saying I find this record awful to listen to though xD), there is still something rewarding about listening to it, and that is the fact that you have at least experienced what the band members' core musical intentions were when they first formed the band. As bands make more and more albums, their essence usually tend to fade away (usually due to volatile lineups), I mean look at Amorphis and Iron Maiden for example, they have both changed so much since their early days. So whether be it you are an old or new fan of the band, listening to the raw records from the band's early days certainly is a good chance for you to experience them for what they truly were in their infant days.

CanoN In Black: Check out the evilish guitar riffs, fast drum beats, and haunting keyboard melodies.

If I have to be really picky and find a flaw with the record for the heck of it, the vocals would be my scapegoat of course. The growls sound muffled and soaked in static, but of course, that would not be the band's fault for not doing them right, but probably because of either financial issues or their usage of synthesized harsh vocals. Every new band would definitely jump at the opportunity to record their music in a professional recording studio if they had the money to do so, but if the harsh vocals really were synthesized, I think it would be better if KenoN doesn't do this anymore on future records. Personally, I think unedited harsh vocals sound more genuine and would have greater impact on the listener.
Instrumentals-wise, they are solid and easily recognisable as black metal, and there are many melodic moments throughout the record which are represented by guitar and keyboard solos. Additionally, the last track is just as gentle on the ears as the first was, which is an appropriate way to end a black metal record if KenoN wants to follow through with the "Mystery-BAM!-Respite" kind of album structure.

Lyrics-wise, I have no comments. That would be because the band did not provide us the lyrics for this record, and it is nearly impossible to make out the lyrics by ear, so if you are interested to read the song lyrics, you would have to either wait for KenoN's debut album and buy it or e-mail the band yourselves to request for them.

Overall, I am looking forward to hear more quality material from KenoN in future. If you are a black metal fan, and am interested in hearing the rest of KenoN's songs on this record, download this record from the following link: http://tiny.cc/kenonepic

A belated Merry Christmas everyone, and may all of you have a good year ahead.

Verdict: 8.3 / 10

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