The Kennedy Veil – Imperium (Review)

The Kennedy VeilThe Kennedy Veil are a death metal band from the US and this is their third album.

I loved Trinity of Falsehood, absolutely loved it. For me, it was an almost perfect example of modern death metal, and ever since that release I’ve been eagerly awaiting their next album.

Well, here we have it. Imagine how horrified I was when I discovered that they have changed lineup, (including a new singer), and also changed their sound. Horrified, yes, but also a bit excited. After all, who doesn’t love a band that are willing to change and develop as time progresses? The question remained though – would this be a positive change, or a negative one…?

It turns out that this is not as easy a question to answer as I first thought, as on Imperium The Kennedy Veil have moved away from the modern, technical approach to streamlined state-of-the-art brutality that they did so well previously, and instead have delved into darker, older waters. With longer songs, but less of them, the band have now incorporated blackened elements into their sound, as well as some symphonic ones too.

It’s almost like a new band, as The Kennedy Veil have essentially reinvented themselves. You can still hear aspects of their previous incarnation of course, but overall The Kennedy Veil of 2017 is largely quite a different beast to the one that created Trinity of Falsehood.

So, is Imperium as good as that superlative album that I love so much? It’s probably the wrong question to ask, and in all honesty it’s also probably mistake to compare them, as they’re quite distinct entities. Plus, I know The Trinity of Falsehood so much better at this point, but even at this early stage I can safely say that Imperium is still a worthy new evolution in the band’s development.

In retrospect it’s probably a very good thing that this album wasn’t The Trinity of Falsehood Version 2, as it probably never would have stood up to it. Instead, on Imperium the band have redefined themselves, taking the best bits of what they did so well and mutating and warping the rest into something darker, more visceral and more organic.

If Trinity of Falsehood was the sound of a band taking stock of the contemporary modern death metal scene and producing their own take on it in the best way possible, then Imperium is the same, only with older, darker, and more blackened themes.

The Kennedy Veil have surprised me with Imperium. After my initial apprehension, (horror?), it turns out that this has been a very, very good thing. I love it when a band develops and progresses, and Imperium takes the core of talent and skill that the band seem to have in abundance, and focuses it in a different direction. Imperium is a monster, and I can’t wait to get to know it more and more over the coming years.

An essential listen.

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