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Ketch: The Anthems Of Dread

The Colorado-based band Ketch is my latest foray into death/doom metal. They formed in 2014 and include Zach Salmans (vocals), Clayton Cushman (guitar), Jeremy Winters (guitar), Dave Borrusch (bass) and David Csicsely (drums).

The album is titled The Anthems Of Dread with the cover suitably macabre given this style of music. Also included is the band’s self-titled debut four track EP nestled at the end of the disc.

Those of you who read my reviews have probably figured out I prefer clean vocals over growls. On this extreme metal platter the vocalist is confined to growling but overall he gives a good performance so really it’s all about preference over one style versus another and he does an admirable job. The tempos are generally slower so the doom element is often present and the guitar riffs and chord progressions are outstanding making that a main reason to check these guys out. The dirge-like atmosphere and slowly picked guitar arpeggio at the beginning of “Fertile Rites by Sacrifice” adds plenty of atmosphere to a surprisingly clean sound. When the heaviness breaks out and the riffs bludgeon you to oblivion you know this is some powerful stuff. Some interesting rhythmic turns and a melodic guitar solo keep this from being a run-of-the-mill metal band. “Distant Time” is heavy right out of the gate and the roars are deep and guttural. More interesting rhythmic play helped to keep me interested.

To get a sense of their earlier beginnings listen to “Shimmering Lights” from their debut EP. The atmosphere and ultra-slow temp invokes a deep bone chattering edge/groove that one cannot help but truly feel. The growls blend into the heavy onslaught acting like a well-placed instrument. Lots of atmosphere as well, just a really cool extreme metal track. I really like how the vocals are used in “Counting Sunsets”, the growls sung in synchronous with the heavy rhythms. Again, it’s easy to imagine the vocals as another instrument adding another layer of intensity.

The Anthems Of Dread is a very good metal album, even for someone who isn’t totally convinced of the growling style. It all works surprisingly well to these untrained ears.

Released on the Aesthetic Death label.

Track Listing:
1. Fertile Rites by Sacrifice
2. Distant Time
3. En Nomine Eius
4. The Monsters of this World
5. Estranged
6. Detached and Conquered
Self-Titled EP:
7. Shimmering Lights
8. Counting Sunsets
9. Chemical Despondency
10. 13 Coils

Added: February 17th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 675
Language: english

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