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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Album Review: Lekamen Illusionen Kallet - The Second Wind by Devin Walsh

Lekamen Illusionen Kallet - The Second Wind
2011 Eisenwald
Devin Walsh

Feeling depressed? Pop in this one. The newest release by Lekamen Illusionen Kallet is a downer of a record – musically speaking, that is. These Swedes play an ambient rock style that has a real stoner/depressive mood.

The album starts off with the track “The Other Realm” which really sets the mood for the whole album. The music is almost hypnotic as the Peter Steele-styled vocals sit on top of some rock/bluesy guitar lines. My favorite aspect of the album is probably the production, and this may come across as sort of strange once you hear it. The production, while good, is not top of the line, but it is very organic. I love how the drums come through as an actual drummer as opposed to a sampled computerized machine. The vocals also have a real evil vibe to them like they are subliminally infiltrating your brain.

“Death Breeder” kicks in with a faster-paced guitar riff that has the tone and vibe of a 70’s metal band – almost like Black Sabbath. The singer’s voice is nothing to spill your coffee over, but it fits real well with the feel of this band. It has a real raw and true sound to it as it drones on with the continual depressive feel. The drums, as I said before, come across as an actual drummer playing, although they are nothing really to brag about in terms of finesse, but they fit the music very well. Not every instrument always has to be flashy to be good, and the drums on this album are just that – not flashy, but they fit in the pocket very well.

“Ed Anger” is yet another track that makes you want to sit in a dimly lit dark room burning incense. I can really hear old school Black Sabbath in a lot of this with not only the production, but just the raw evil feel. As with the previous tracks, and the rest of the album, the vocals are a bit more monotone, but really portray the atmosphere these guys are after. The guitar riffing is pretty straightforward but written well enough to not be the same thing over and over and they keep your attention for the most part.

The next song is “The Delusionist” which I feel could just be part 2 of any of the other songs. It flows very well from the previous song, but maybe too well as it’s not that different. It continues on with the downer sound that Lekamen Illusionen Kallet does so well, but can easily bore the listener if you are not into this type of music. In the middle of the song there is a bit more of an open feel as chords ring out over the flowing drums, but still nothing that is going to make me come back for a second listen.

“A Filthy Ride” is one of the better songs in my opinion as it has a real killer guitar riff that is very reminiscent of riff-oriented metal like Judas Priest. I could even almost see this riff being in the catalogue of one of the metal gods. As the song progresses I keep getting thoughts of Neil Young. Something about this song keeps me wanting to keep on rocking in the free world.

All in all, Lekamen Illusionen Kallet is a band that can play downer metal pretty well. It’s not my particular cup of tea, but I can appreciate it for what it is. Each member can certainly play their instruments efficiently, but nothing has stuck in my head. I walk away feeling a bit more depressed, but at least I don’t regret listening to it. If you like the old school metal vibe that evokes lots of feelings of negativity, you very well may like this. The songs are written and played well, but it fails to inspire me and make me want to hear more.

Rating: **1/2

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