Kaleikr – Heart of Lead (Review)

kaleikr - heart of leadKaleikr are an Icelandic black/death metal band and this is their debut album.

This is black metal that’s progressive and emotive. Heart of Lead is an album that you can almost visibly see change as it develops and unfolds. As it runs through its playing time, Kaleikr’s music becomes increasingly darker and more unhinged.

Death metal elements can be heard, (especially when deathgrowls are used), merging with the band’s progressive influences and dissonant tendencies to become one with the experimental black metal base that Heart of Lead has. The songs benefit from both melodic and psychedelic streaks, adding dashes of energetic colour and exploratory madness.

The songs on Heart of Lead are enjoyably satisfying affairs. Atmosphere is used and developed well, and the music feels rich and luxurious. This is juxtaposed against seamlessly-delivered harsh aggression where necessary; there’s a very gratifying mix of the two. It’s potent and effective, with the band crafting compelling soundscapes across the running time. Intricate playing is matched by a confidence that you don’t often see on debut albums, and this is nicely augmented by the use of viola on three tracks.

Think of a mix of bands such as Enslaved, older Opeth, Deathspell Omega, Deluge, Khanus, Septic Flesh, and Sulphur to get an idea of what we have here.

Kaleikr’s modern interpretation of black metal is emotive and well-formed. They have some way to go before achieving full mastery of their chosen style, of course, but Heart of Lead is a very strong debut, regardless.

Check this out.

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