(8/10) German heretics Ketzer have a new album out there in the recordshops. The band's third release is called "Starless" and marks an important moment in the band's history. Very often it's the third album that decides on the future path of a band, just remember Metallica's "Master of Puppets" or Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast".
Those two examples have been very successful ones and in case of Ketzer I also think, that they have done a great job on "Starless". The five-piece from Cologne, Germany started in the beginning of the new century with releasing "Satan's Boundaries Unchained" in 2009. Their black-thrash found quite some fans. Ketzer didn't stand still at this moment in time. The quintet developed their sound by adding a few more shades to "Endzeit Metropolis", something that continued also during the songwriting process for "Starless".
Ketzer's sound might be still build on black-thrash, but the guys added so many new twists and tweaks to their newst album with the result that "Starless" became a dark but also very openminded longplayer.
The ten tracks are very diverse and intense. "Starless" became a record that makes an impact. Less than two minutes intermezzos ("The Hunger") found a spot on the tracklist as well as the epical long "Shaman's Dance" with more than eleven minutes playtime.
The general vibe on "Starless" is, as the title suggests, is gloomy and dark.
Highlights on the album are the creepy title track, the punk rocker "Godface" and the already mentioned eleven minutes long "Shaman's Dance". This epical track starts with a pretty cool bassline, accompanied by some slow-mo riffs, overlaid by Gerrit's mean and raw vocals. The song builds up even though the dominant bassline stays a kind of red thread throughout. It's the interesting breaks, like the acoustic part in the middle, that gives this number even more exciting moments. Those eleven minutes are well invested time and show the whole potential of Ketzer.
At the end of "Starless" the guys from Cologne bring their melodic side to the forefront. "Limbo" is an acoustic tune that is, compared to all the stuff heard before, light and swinging. It's a kind of calmness after the storm and a well placed closer.
"Starless" isn't unsteered raw metal. The meanness of this album is more subtile. It's, at least partly, not the fist in your face. It's more this kind of meancing underlaying feeling of nastiness that gives you the shivers.
And if the third album is as important as described earlier we will hear much more from Katzer during the coming years.
- When Milk Runs Dry
- Count to Ten
- The Hunger
- White Eyes
- Shaman's Dance
- Silence and Sound
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Black / Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016