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Kekal - The Painful Experience CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.82 | 8 ratings

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4 stars While The Painful Experience is probably not being considered among Kekal's best albums to date, it is interesting to see the band's brave maneuvers from their straight forward extreme metal of first 2 albums to the far more progressive and avantgarde of later efforts.

Recorded in late 2000 and early 2001 (and released later in October 2001), I've heard Kekal made their decision upon the change of millennium and change of century. The Painful Experience is the bridge into digital era of Kekal, their first album being fully composed and recorded to the hard disk using DAW, as opposed to analog tape of their previous 2 albums Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams (1998) and Embrace The Dead (1999). It turned out to be somewhat confusing for their longtime fans who already familiar with the band's first 2 albums. Kekal changed at that point and no one can stop the band from making such a brave decision, risking thousands of their old fans leaving the band just because of the drastic change alone.

While the approach of production and songwriting might be drastically changed, musically The Painful Experience still has the traces of Kekal. They still retain their own trademark Iron Maiden-sque guitar melody layers and the energy and the groove are still present. The major drawbacks are on the vocal department and the using of 'borrowed' riffs from Iron Maiden. There are over 10 different vocal styles on the album, from the death metal growls, black metal evil screams, operatic tenor, hardcore punk shouts and many more including the most irritating high-pitch vocals that the vocalist Jeff tried to mimic all the highs of King Diamond, Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Geddy Lee (Rush) together without realizing that he went over his comfort zone, like he would lose his vocal cord at times. I wished that they gave these high lines to guest female vocalist like they used to do on their previous 2 albums, instead being sung by Jeff himself.

However, the songs are very strong and some of them like Mean Attraction and the title track are being considered as the best songs from Kekal ever, and remain classic to the fans.


FathomlessMetro | 4/5 |


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