Kraton - Ker

7 songs
37:58 minutes
***** ***
(self released)


There used to be a time when I prided myself in knowing every band coming from the tiny country I live in. But as I grow older, I find myself surprised more and more often at discovering artists I have never heard of before. One such band is Kraton from Bricherhaff, a minuscule town between the not much bigger Syren and Moutfort. Although they were founded only last year, they were quick to record their first demo Ker which was then released in December 2011.

First of all, this is a demo, so don’t expect overly polished sound. Don’t worry though, because it becomes obvious quite soon that these guys plus their lady drummer are unexpectedly cool at what they are doing. Mostly Kraton play old school death metal that never comes faster than mid-tempo, and there are even quite a few blackened doom parts. This may not be something truly new, but until now I have never heard anything comparable from Luxembourg. Maybe Desdemonia, but Kraton have the advantage of sounding fresher and hungrier. The two guitars build up quite a nice wall of riffs, and the vocals don’t stand back with their top notch quality. Ms Conrardy is also quite the fierce drummer, even though here skills tend to vanish within the slightly muddy production.

The songs are all about five minutes long, Thanatos even makes it to nearly seven minutes. This may seem long for your average death metal, but the slow pace and the distinguished songwriting definitely warrant these extended structures. Although the band name has geological significance, the lyrics seem to be quite bleak, considering the many song titles dealing with death: Elegy Of The Dead and especially the last three tracks Thanatos, Kerberos, Hades. One even wonders if there is some kind of concept at play.

Ker is not a sophisticated high-end studio recording, but in times where many of those are quite actually bland and boring, it’s refreshing to encounter a band like Kraton who still have tons of ideas and motivation to come up with a demo that sounds more rewarding than the records of many established bands. Best of all is that you can download it for free on their website. This is an opportunity no death metal fan should pass!

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