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KAELLING

Progressive Metal • Portugal


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Kaelling biography
KAELLING is André OLIVEIRA and Joâo RODRIGUES. The project started when André decided to release a solo album but wanted a vocalist, so he invites Joâo and the two composed, recorded and produced their album "Lacuna" a concept album revolving around the life of two characters, a first character is an empathic person and the second a sociopath. The music is an atmospheric Progressive Metal with many introspective moments where the melody is put first before virtuosity. You can hear some influences of bands like SOEN and LEPROUS.

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4.02 | 5 ratings
Lacuna
2017

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KAELLING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lacuna by KAELLING album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 5 ratings

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Lacuna
Kaelling Progressive Metal

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars I know KĆLLING as a Danish denotation, however the band resides around Marinha Grande, which actually is in Portugal. Don't want to speculate how this came together, the special ligature strikes in any case, printed on this amazing red coloured cover including the living ghost himself. Band means a duo on this occasion, although it overall sounds like recorded by a full-fledged outfit. Knowing each other for a long time, André Oliveira and Joăo Rodrigues came together at the beginning of 2017 to compose, record and produce their debut album for this project. You can distinctly hear it, both are highly influenced by progressive rock which is tending to the melodic metal style.

Couldn't find out exactly who is responsible for playing the particular instruments. What seems to be clear is that both are experienced in slicing and soaring guitars, where Joăo is also focussed on the vocals and André on diverse keyboards. So let it be, the rest is team effort then most likely. First of all, technically this leaves nothing to be disired. And there is a concept behind that too, revolving around the life of two characters, who are an empath, and a sociopath either way. A strong passion for the vocal parts is to state, mostly worked out in a very sentimental manner, a bit overdone on rare occasions unfortunately, though this is not really downgrading the whole impression in the end.

There is a lot of empathy around here for sure. The song couple Circle and Heritage makes my day especially, both are flawless compositions. Nice piano licks here, sensitive and expressive guitars there, top vocals, atmosphere, a suspense packed flow - everything seems to fit together perfectly. Besides Haken and Tool some Italian bands bordering the metal and heavy progressive style are coming into my mind, when considering stylistically related crews. The tricky longrunner Departure finally makes this issue to a rounded one. Well done, guys!

 Lacuna by KAELLING album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 5 ratings

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Lacuna
Kaelling Progressive Metal

Review by 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!

 Lacuna by KAELLING album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 5 ratings

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Lacuna
Kaelling Progressive Metal

Review by guiservidoni

4 stars On the release day of this album, I put it on Bandcamp on my computer and let it roll in the background. When chapter one finished, I could tell this wasn't your average Bandcamp debutter.

Kaelling are these two Portuguese guys that released a very ambitious unsigned debut: it's over an hour long, with a concept that is definitely not easy to grasp in its entirety and will require a couple listens. Lacuna is an album that begs the listener's patience, and with this I fear it won't be accessible enough for non-progsnobs. I say that is a fear, because it could jeopardize a second album, and I must say: I *really* want to see another release by Kaelling.

Before the album, the band, and an unique sound to it. You could try pinpointing influences, but one leads to another, that leads to another, and in the end the conclusion is that this is a band that successfully captured elements from artists they like and blended them all in their own identity, which sounds impressive for a debut. There's a lot of Leprous and Haken in the vocals, somewhat of a Haken/Gentle Giant touch all over the instruments' individual tracks, a Karnivool reference every once in a while, Hackett-esque backing guitars, and hell I can even hear Supertramp's keyboards sometimes! A really Katatonian dark atmosphere (album cover is a bit familiar perhaps?), but an unique identity to the sound in the end.

Now, for the record: it has three chapters, each one with three songs. I won't dive in the concept, for such a well-thought one deserves no spoilers. Suffice to say each one has, as the band says, its own identity. This is great, because the songs can work as standalone pieces but get along really well within their chapters. To top it off, the chapters work well within themselves as well. For me, it sounds like the first track of them all are openers, the first two chapters reach their climax in the middle tracks ("Circle" and "Cognition", both my favorites), and the third chapter with this 16-minute epic closing where you can hear all the previous eight (!) songs. This really brings back Haken's Aquarius structure, and I relate this album to Aquarius very often when I listen to it. Perhaps this is a reason why I enjoyed this release so much, because Aquarius is a true masterpiece for me. And also, a debut release.

However, this is not a perfect record. Much of my criticisms of this album are a matter of personal taste, and if Kaelling manages to keep them in a new manner, I'm all for it. First, the cymbals/hi-hats: I often feel they're overused and end up more on the annoying side than actually contributing to the song (for example, when they're gone somewhere around 4- 5mins into "Departure", the song sounds so great). Second, build-ups: when you have such a deep concept, an epic ending and this sort of stuff, build-ups are a great tool, but they must be combined with the instruments' intensity. Very often on Lacuna, they either exist or don't: there's no in between, and that could be a great improvement, for the payoffs we'd get off of that would be so awesome. This leads to another criticism: hooks. Like I said in the beginning, this album requires patience, and hooks could get me back in the record and its concept whenever my brain subconsciously puts it in the background. By no means I'm asking for artificially loud and meaningless hooky lines, but something every once in a while could help a lot on that.

Like I said, these "flaws" are mostly related to personal taste, and nothing stops Kaelling from keeping all these elements, rearranging them and making them sound really neat. The way they convey it here will only keep me from giving this album 5 stars.

The list of where K'lling hits just right is much bigger, and totally justifies why everyone should give this a couple spins. The cohesion, even with silence-only song transitions, is really outstanding, as everything flows so naturally it looks like a big jam with some pauses sometimes. The musicianship and Leprous-like vocal harmonies with and without growls stand out everywhere there is singing. The gentle guitar accompanying the songs guides you through the lyrics, going along so well with the bass. All of that along the dark and profound concept and structure yields a 4-4.5 star release.

I really hope this band puts out a new album soon, and I really hope it's a five-star one.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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