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Kekal - The Habit of Fire CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I have been listening to Kekal since their early, black/death metal days, and watch their 'progression' of style and musicianship from album to album. "The Habit of Fire" is their 6th full-length CD and they have been around for about 12 years, but yet there is still a long way for these guys to get the amount of attention they deserve, at least to worldwide prog-rock fans. Luckily, "The Habit of Fire" is their first album which gets the 'mainstream' distribution in North America (and better distribution in Europe as well), and thus the way to get better attention is bigger than their previous albums (which only available through independent metal music stores & mail-orders).

Musically, "The Habit of Fire" is simply displaying their own 'trend' of natural progression, which is more experimental and crazier than their previous one. I do have a hard time to classify this album into one sub-genre. The record labels (one in USA and one in Germany) tag it as 'Urban Avantgarde Metal'. But I'm not even sure that even term 'urban' and 'avant-garde' are the best way to describe the music on the album. The only way to know is by listening it by yourself!

"The Habit of Fire" is a 70 minute concept album that has 11 tracks, from a weird feedback-loop noise intro to the amazingly complex and progressive 15-minute epic song "Escapism". The songs are still connected with metal music at many points, but they also put every music style possible into the songs: danceable electronic beats, noisy industrial drones and harshness in the vein of Whitehouse and Einzurstende Neubauten, King Crimson-esque guitar chords and time-signature weirdedness, early Pink Floyd's soundscapes, jazz-fusion parts, and much much more, including hip-hop and death metal blast-beats drumming! Oh, not to mention the psychotic psychedelic parts that pop up here and there by surprise. But before you start to think that Kekal is just a mere knock-off of Mr Bungle and Fantomas (with all the 'throw everything in' trend), I have to say that it is not the case. Kekal has a certain amount of depth and flowing melodies put into their songs, which makes the cohesiveness and links between the mixed-up styles. Despite the complexity of the arrangements, super-detailed production, and the overly long playing time which make it extra hard to completely digest and understand at the first listen, this album has the kind of 'persona' which compels the listeners to listen to it over and over again without getting bored. And once you get hooked with it, you're gonna love this forever. Definitely progressive without being over-acting or comical. An essential release for avant-prog fans.

Kekal can be reached at

Wutchanas | 4/5 |


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