Archive for the ‘Kekal’ Category

Anger Management: Kekal

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary for Jakarta’s Kekal. Since 1995, they’ve carved away at their brand of extreme metal/prog that has been getting more avant-garde and interesting. 2003’s excellent and well-received 1000 Thoughts Of Violence brought the band further into the public eye and seemingly gave them the confidence to forge on into the unknown, adding more experimental elements to their sound.

The band experienced some lineup shuffles in 2006 when one of their key members, guitarist/vocalist Jeffray moved to Canada. Kekal became a studio project and, bizarrely, all members at one point between 2006 — 2009 have left the band. Kekals bio states: “Since 2009, Kekal has become a band with no official members, but some of its former members still continue to make music and to release albums for Kekal, albeit as contributors.”

This creates an interesting situation. Kekal is now an institution that the members work for instead of as. Kekal is now less a band and more of a brand, so to speak. Having no official members means there is no style or image and allows free reign musically.

Mulilateral is Kekal’s 10th LP and they have taken more chances with this release than ever before. Each song melds elements of post-rock, black/extreme metal, electronic sounds, vocal effects and drum machines. Three songs on the album feature the use of the Vocaloid software singing synth program/idol Megurine Luka which works strikingly well. And what better way to underscore the fact that your band has no official members than to have a computerised idol singer on your album? The track “Crossroads” utilizes this the best as hammering riffage and pounding drums juxtaposed to the Vocaloid makes for a very interesting contrast.

The whole album is full of little surprises. Just when you think a track might be a bit off a riff or distorted drum beat comes out of nowhere and enhances the song. A good example of this is “Metropolis Noir” which starts off very dreamy and mellow. Acoustic warbly guitar, a triphop beat and the vocaloid singer glide along for 4 minutes before an abrupt interruption of distorted beats, growling vocals and an awesome black metal riff in the background.

Kekal have utilized their chance to make music free of image and as a result, Multilateral is an excellent release. They’ve taken so many chances that many would dare not to; every individual song features more ideas than most band’s entire albums. As their bio says: “Let us enjoy Multilateral, without preconception and presumption!”

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.