Bands

Keep of Kalessin

‘Agnen’ is hyper-speed dark and epic black metal at its best, with subtle elements of thrash. The band’s themes are inspired by ‘The Earthsea Quartet’, the fantasy created by respected American writer Ursula K. Le Guin; an ancient world of magic and conflict between darkness and light.

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Keep of Kalessin
Agnen - A Journey through the Dark

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Biography

Keep of Kalessin is an extreme metal band from Trondheim, Norway formed in 1993. The group's early lineup consisted of Ghash on vocals, Obsidian C. (the group founder) on guitars and keyboards, Warach on bass, and Vyl on drums. They released two albums under this lineup: Through Times of War in 1997, and Agnen: A Journey Through the Dark in 1999, before splitting up. Obsidian C. then toured with Satyricon, but revived the Keep of Kalessin name for a 2003 EP, Reclaim. In 2006 he reconstituted the group with a new lineup and released a third full-length, Armada). They toured with Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir early in 2008. Their fourth album Kolossus was released on June 6, 2008. They take their name from Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series of books, where Kalessin is the name of the arch-dragon who is the bearer of the Earthsea world. Keep of Kalessin was nominated for a Spellemannprisen in the metal category in 2008.

Unlike most black metal bands, Keep of Kalessin is in its harshness still melodic and technically oriented. In contrast to traditional Norwegian black metal, Keep of Kalessin also make use of other instruments like the piano, keyboards and synthesizers. They started experimenting with a new sound which gave Keep of Kalessin its new character after Obsidian C. recruited the new band-members Thebon, Wizziac and Vyl for their album Armada in 2006, the follow-up after the Reclaim EP in 2003. Before Reclaim, the band had a much darker and colder character because of the different line-up they had back in the days. The line-up split in 2000, though Obsidian C. still wanted to make something of the band and the split-up wasn't the end of the band yet. He wanted to give Keep of Kalessin a unique character and develop its music, and improve himself too as a musician and lyrics writer, but the band still needed a drummer who could keep up with his riffing and he couldn't find one in Trondheim. After nearly 3 years, the band Satyricon was in the need of a guitarist and Obsidian C. participated in the auditions and "played the ass off" some other 30 guitarists who also had applied for the job. He made it to the band and came in contact with Satyricon's drummer Frost.

Obsidian C. didn't give up on Keep of Kalessin and as soon as Frost heard its material, without hesitation, he immediately said yes when Obsidian C. asked him to do the drumming on his new EP. As the band's new guitarist, Obsidian C. also toured with the band and this made it possible to recruit Attila Csihar for his EP to do the vocals. This new line-up recorded Keep of Kalessin's new EP Reclaim and sky-rocketed the band into the elite black metal scene of Norway. But the line-up did not last and fell apart because of the distances between the band members. Still, this would not stop Obsidian C. and he was more and more determined to bring Keep of Kalessin to the masses. As part of Satyricon he toured a lot with the band and understood that touring is a must to promote a band. Not much later he teamed up again with Vyl, who was a part of the band before the breakup in 2000. Now the band still needed a vocalist and preferably a bassist as well. This is when Thebon (vocals) and Wizziac (bass guitar) became part of the band.

Together with Torstein Parelius – the lyric writer from their EP Reclaim – the new line-up spent 2 years preparing to record their next album entitled Armada. This elevated the band to a higher place in the elite black metal scene of Norway and the band finally had a line-up which could last and made the band even more promising than before.

This same line-up recorded in 2007 the new album Kolossus, released in the summer of 2008, demonstrating the band improved their sound after the well received and highly acclaimed release Armada in 2006 which even got some good attention from the more mainstream media in Norway. This resulted in a nomination for the Spellemannprisen in the metal category in 2008. On Kolossus they started to experiment more with different instruments and the band indeed created a unique character for Keep of Kalessin.

In 2010, Keep of Kalessin entered a song in the Melodi Grand Prix, the annual competition to select Norway's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was hosted by the country due to its victory in the 2009 content, becoming the first heavy metal band to vie in the competition. The band performed their new song, "The Dragontower", in the first of 3 semi-final rounds and advanced to the Gold Final round, where the band finished in 3rd place overall through a combined viewer and jury vote.

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Gallery

  • keep of kalessin band

Live Dates

February 2015

  • 13/02, John Dee - Oslo, Norway

Latest News


01/01/1970

Keep of Kalessin - 'Agnen - A Journey Through the Dark' vinyl set for release on 30th June

Keep of Kalessin's 1997 album of hyper speed dark and epic black metal is set for release on heavyweight vinyl, due 30th June, and can be pre-ordered HERE. ...