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Kaelling - Lacuna CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.02 | 8 ratings

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Steve Conrad
4 stars KAELLING: Lacuna Lacuna: an unfilled space or interval'a gap, missing portion.'

K'LLING is a Portuguese progressive metal band consisting at present of Andr' Oliveira and Jo'o Rodrigues. 'Lacuna' is their ambitious debut; after these two met in February, 2017, they got right to work writing and rehearsing, and ultimately recording this concept album.

I'll leave you to work out the interpretations of this intelligent and thoughtful concept- I have my ideas and you can discover yours. Suffice it to say, this is not an easy-listening or easily digested album.

It's presented in three parts, 'Empathy', 'Apathy', and 'Certainty'

What Andr' Oliveira and Jo'o Rodrigues have done is create a dense, complex tapestry, one that requires careful listening and considerable reflection. For me, the intensity and shifting landscapes were riveting and to a degree tiring- not tiresome. If this is progressive metal (and I had some internal debates about this), it is progressive metal with many introspective, piano-driven plaintive moments, and many mood and textural landscapes.

They themselves note that they are not bound to labels or genres, stating on their Facebook page, '..we try not to limit ourselves to a specific genre. We write what we feel like writing.'

Instrumentation is standard- guitars, bass, drums (I'm guessing programmed drums), keyboards- mostly piano, and lead vocals sometimes with a harmony line added. There are a few occasions of harsh vocals- fortunately for my tastes, these were mixed fairly low overall, and despite the fact that I don't care for growls, screams, or roars in general, were found in what for me was one of the most powerful tracks, 'Lackluster'.

In addition there were a few places of orchestration, like the ending of 'Living Ghosts'.

With technical, precise, complicated music like this, I can see that the future of progressive music is well in hand- these are young musicians. The level of playing, composition, and concept seem to me to be superior.

I appreciated how themes were revisited and interwoven in the epic finale, 'Departure'. That last sixteen minutes-and- change went by pretty rapidly.

Due to the heaviness and darkness of the subject matter- emptiness, hopelessness, despair, pain, loneliness, boredom, and ultimately at least it seemed to me, suicide, I don't see myself returning to this music soon if at all. I have no regrets for having heard it, and consider this a powerful work by promising young musicians with much to offer.

I kept wanting to give them each a hug, and encourage them to go out and have a little fun- maybe that's the gap, the missing part!

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |


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