The Podcast


   

Latest Episode #38


Pagan Altar & Cirith Ungol

● Stepping into Terry Jones (RIP) shoes
● Getting Cirith Ungol back together
● Managing such a classic band

More Episodes


#37 - Metal Blade boss Brian Slagel

#36 - Paul Catten from Barrabus, Medulla Nocte

#35 - Type O Negative's Johnny Kelly


Must reads:    All Albums Of The Month   ●   From The Vaults!   ●  The Forums Hall Of Fame   ●   Irish Metal - Reviews Archive
Ketos | ‘Rise’


Tones like this don’t come easy, most especially to bands at the start of their careers.

How Belfast’s Ketos have managed to crank out a guitar sound this meaty at such an early point in their development I just dont know. But it sounds magnificent, and befits the rest of the superb production.

This thick, rich tone allows opener ‘Rise’ to buckle down into a patiently paced, determined heaviness.

I suppose the band’s true colours come through on ‘Chaos Theory”, showing off a sizable Trivium influence – those melodic guitar lines, plus the transition from growl to clean singing in a way that nods to the ‘Vengeance Falls’ era.

Impressive soloing is another boon here: it’s assured, tappy, bendy and fluid in the Alexi Laiho style. The confidence of it is pretty flooring.

Then, even more impressively again, something you absolutely dont expect. A chorus-effected clean, skippy intro to what’s most likely the most memorable track here.

“No Hope In Sight’ has enough force to get an enthusiastic pit going, but it’s also revved up to full thrash chops by the minute thirty mark to hark delightfully to Evile – tight and melodic, but with that all important thick bottom end on the guitar to prevent it weeding out.

Yes, the crooned vocals are probably all too much apiece with genre expectations, and in the Trivium mould, one questions how much of it is effected passion versus any real soul baring. Also that art… well, it undersells them.

But this is an absolutly minor complaint. Ketos have come from basically nowhere to debut with the kind of demo that sounds absolutely the full and polished article.

No need here to require more time in the practise room or on stage either by the sounds of it. So long as they can keep it together as a band and not drop the ball or let life get in the way, on the basis of this they are going places, and probably fast.

The only need is to dig deep into they really want to play instead of what’s expected – which they’ve already overachieved anyhow.

3.8 / 5 -Earl Grey ::: 07/09/17


19 Comments
  1. dribbley cat scutter

  2. One of my favouite Belfast bands at the minute.

  3. Black Shepherd Says:

    Another seemingly talented band reduced to utter banality by the vocals…

  4. Let’s face it, vocals kill most bands here. There was one on the man page the other day too. Production was whopper, vocals were cack. Bands need to realise if the vocals do nothing then there’s no repeat listening in it.

  5. Best band in belfast, best metal
    Vocalist in Ireland for sure!!!

  6. You are surely taking the piss?

  7. The obligatory band member or friend o band.

    I think the critic is right, excellent music but ultimately the vocals are a little stock. That’s a fair analysis!!!!

  8. Yeah, it’s grand but it sounds like something Killswitch Engage would have put out years ago. I’m not a musician or in any way knowledgeable on the subject, but it seems to me that having a professional, “meaty” production is perfectly attainable in this day and age, even for a band at their demo stage. Therefore I don’t think it’s something they should get undue credit for. Songwriting, atmosphere and perhaps a bit of originality should count for a lot more.

  9. Music is okay….Singing is total shit….and the cleaning singing is like fockin brian mcfadden

  10. Saying any band can get a good production now is a bit of a red herring. Half of a great sound is about how the band play together and what happens to the sound of the instruments as a result.

  11. John Kimble Says:

    @earl grey…yeah, I get that and I suppose if the band doesn’t function as a cohesive unit then no amount of production values is going to disguise that…it’s just that I think it elevates very workmanlike efforts to a greater level, as evidenced above.

  12. Band pic: The arms folding. Is that agreed pre-shoot or accidental?

  13. straight from the horses arse Says:

    Ive observed that the lads on the left and centre have the standard armfold, where as the other lads on the right are doing an irregular armfold. There has to be some significance to it I recon.

  14. Checked them out online live footage, the clean vocals stand up live, still its scuzz fodder. The mid atlantic between songs accent needs to go though

  15. On the positives, the lead guitar work is great, more reminiscent of Kris Norris / Darkest Hour style to me and done very well.

    I also think to be fair the harsh vocals are quite strong – they may be too American for some but well executed and on par with many bigger ‘core bands you’d hear stateside.

    Having listened to Chaos Theory, the area that needs work for me is structure.

    It’s common to open with the chorus melody without vocals as a brief teaser. Key being brief – 30 seconds intro of the looped chorus melody is too long. I’d also argue if going for that style, have a higher register guitar lead line that sings a melody rather than just stock rhythms. It’s not memorable enough on its own and needs a lift.

    Next in structure – 8 bars of verse (4 standard bars followed by four harmonised in thirds) followed by 4 pre-chorus, back to 4 bars verse (2 standard, 2 harmonised) and back to pre-chorus. It drags at this point and the standard bar count makes it predictable, you can hear the harmonies coming before they do. Experiment even with count of bars to keep things interesting, it’s surprising what non-standard bars can do to make things interesting, or maybe alternate between 3rds and 5ths in the harmonies (or add in some 4ths to go more exotic).

    All in all it’s almost two minutes before you hit the chorus – a distant memory from the intro. Again if the clean vocals mirrored an earlier guitar line it would add something.

    Just my two cents on being constructive. Obviously they can play, so ability is there just need to get more creative and away from paint by numbers approach.

  16. There is nothing in this style they’ve joined that could be done to interest me. It’s like metal has only evolved in a fashion sense to fit in. The passion, anger and whine is like makeup and the riffs may as well be 8 Bit for adverts.

  17. I think brian mcfadden is while sound and sexy too.

  18. Tbh knowing the band on a personal level, you wont find one where this sort of stuff comes to them as naturally as it does. Bare in mind these guys are literally months old and are having a fucking blast doing what they do, which is all that matters really! Big professor music face up there should write an album and wap it up here, back yer knowledge up music face

  19. @Jordy My comments were designed to be constructive actually pinpoint specific areas that could be worked on. If you read what I wrote, I see an awful lot of positives in their ability, great musicians, and just suggested some refinement and alternative creative approaches to make them stand out in the crowd.

    For the record, I’d argue one doesn’t have to be a “music face(?)” or have to written an album to provide constructive feedback – many music reviewers are not. It does not preclude someone from trying to provide feedback.

    But in the interest of disclosure good sir, I most recently played guitar with Vile Regression – you can find reviews of our albums on this esteemed site – along with all the critiques that come with them.
    Point is – it goes with the territory, you put your music out there to get feedback. It won’t appeal to everyone, nor should it. But you should be open to hearing unbiased opinions.

Post your comment
Name

Mail (will not be published - required)