Kalter
Spiritual Angel


3.5
great

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
February 4th, 2010 | 29 replies | 9,049 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The young, new group have some potential for great things.

Oh, this is nice; this is really nice. While I could go into a speech about the lows and high of melodic death metal to start this review off--as it is a trend these days to do so--I think I’ll try to keep it fresh and more to the point. You see, Quebec newcomers Kalter are a band packed with potential. Not since the emergence of Be’lakor in 2007 has a quintet in this respective style of music peaked up my interest like this. Sure, they fit into what many consider to be a so-so subgenre, but that’s not the point; it’s the fact that Kalter switch things up in an area of prevalent saturation that makes them sound so refreshing. I guess it just comes down to the fact that this group of young men--boys more like it, actually--play with, and tweak, concepts and ideas that we’ve been listening to now for years.

Don’t be mistaken: Kalter do not fit in with the likes of the now-commercial In Flames or bands like the melodic, lead-driven Insomnium. Instead, the Canadian quintet play a tight, albeit in the process of growing, progressive blend of melodic death metal on Spiritual Angel--not so different from Woe of Tyrants. Mid-paced technical riffing is the primary piece in constructing the substance for their music, and, along the way, they throw in a few--and emphasis is placed on few--cleanly-sung vocal sections to aid in the way of melody construction. In fact, Unexpect’s Leilindel even stops by to aid melody-driven track “Time Out Of Mind” with some clean vocals of her own. For the majority of the album, however, singer Marc-Andre Lafreniere's fiece, yet noticeably youthful, growl dominates the playing field. Also, it should be mentioned that playing in the background of the progressive structures is a neo-classical keyboard that helps in tying a few loose ends and in filling in their sonic creations.

Tempo changes come and go with these guys--see the slow build of “Ashes” into power ballad-like soloing, or the acoustic intro of “For The Last Time” that takes a turn to thrill near the end climax of the song--and as is it integral to how well this type of progressive music plays out, Kalter are blessed to make most of the right choices at just the right times. The title track is a first-rate example of this; slow-to-fast sections, symphonic ambiance, a tight vocal performance from Lafreniere, and an overall great job from the rhythm section represent the band’s sound on this song. Throw in the expected instrumental in seventh track "Requiem", and you have the gist of what these guys have to offer on Spiritual Angel.

For all the things the band does right on Spiritual Angel, I can’t help but feel some areas are a bit rushed, or, in contrast, not expanded upon. While the clean vocals worked fairly well on “Darker By Day” and “Time Out Of Mind”, they are hardly used for the remainder of the album; likewise, Plamondon and Lafreniere spend a little too much time on their guitars switching ahead to different riffs or tempos before developing a really good idea. It really boils down to the fact that some of the songs would have been better tweaked in this regard, whether made shorter or longer, in the long run. Those two areas aside, Canada’s Kalter seem primed and ready to take on the metal world. Given that they are so young--most members are probably in their early twenties--they have plenty of time to grow and make their magnum opus.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010



5790 Comments


Album Stream:

http://thenewreview.net/all-access/album-stream-kalter-spiritual-angel

The album actually doesn't have a release date as of now.

fromtheinside
February 4th 2010



18038 Comments


gonna check this out in a bit, your review was excellent.

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listening now

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Wizard
February 4th 2010



19333 Comments


play with, and tweak, concepts and ideas that we’ve been listening to now for years.

You just described most melo-death throughtout the past 5 years.

I tell ya, you and Crysis are going to be the death of me with your love of melo-death hahahahaha. Jk dude, you like what you like and that's all that matters. Great review, I will check this out tonight since it's FREE and streaming.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First track is pretty good, nothing spectacular but it's what I expected more or less.

Crysis are going to be the death of me with your love of melo-death

Hey hey hey whoa easy there hey whoa

bloc
February 4th 2010



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whoa, did not see this. Judging by your "recommended by the review" I want.

So I listened to the first few tracks, nothing out of the ordinary, but still very solid. Looking forward to the release date.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010



5790 Comments


Thanks. Considering that this is there first, I was pretty impressed. It's not the typical stuff, Wizard. Fairly progressive and technical in places.

EVedder27
February 4th 2010



6088 Comments


Another review and another pos from me.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010



5790 Comments


Thanks Mike.

I guess I'm just plagued to rate albums higher, or in the case of In Vain, lower, than Crysis. From now on I'll dock my score half a point for you man, haha.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha it's no problem, repeated listens may raise this up to a 3.5. For now, I find the first half of the album to be hugely repetitive. The music was good and everything, it's just that I found myself becoming bored on just the third or fourth track.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010



5790 Comments


Alright, I gotcha. I had a problem where it actually seemed to go by too fast. It's also a bit odd that the first two tracks are fairly different from the rest of the album with the clean vocals and all.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The near-constant guitar wankery is a bit off-putting as well but hey, this is the type of music where that happens a lot so I won't complain. Nice find, though, this band has promise.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010



5790 Comments


Thanks. I just randomly saw them in a small news article on some metal website while googling another band.

Wizard
February 4th 2010



19333 Comments


This is actually kind of good.

this band has promise.

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2010



44164 Comments


melo death with neo classical keyboards? No thanks, id rather take a potato peeler to my groin.

Wizard
February 4th 2010



19333 Comments


This actually isn't bad Balls. I mean, I'm kind of enjoying it hahahaha.

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2010



44164 Comments


Keyboards sound fruity, in a tropical sense but this doesn't sound as bad as kalmah. Female vocals are a plus and my guilty pleasure in metal......

Poet
February 4th 2010



5922 Comments


Don't make fun of neo-classical keyboards.

Listening to the first song, it's pretty good

Wizard
February 4th 2010



19333 Comments


Band should be called Karlter.

Poet
February 4th 2010



5922 Comments


lol

Ok, so this is really good



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