The Kennedy Veil: Imperium (2017)

Written by: Kev Rowland

The Kennedy Veil are back with their new album, which not only features new recruits, bassist Tyler Hawkins and vocalist Monte Bernard, but guests Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder, Sven de Caluwé of Aborted, and Dickie Allen of Infant Annihilator. Musically the band have moved away from the more technical elements of the Death Metal scene, and have instead embraced the black side. Guitarist Casey Childers said of their new direction, “I feel like this album is taking us back to riffs and memorable song structures. We really focused on stepping our writing game up and worried less about over the top technicality and speed. The new album shows a lot more depth and experimentation than our previous work.” “The world of metal has become flooded with your quintessential ‘tech’ bands,” says drummer Gabe Seeber. “It seems to me that many metal bands of today put so much focus on cramming as many notes as possible into songs, and playing the most difficult riffs with less focus on song structures as a whole. Without taking anything away from the obvious creativity and talent of today’s generation of death metallers, we are aiming to harken back to a more primal and aggressive form of the genre.”

They certainly do that, as this is heavy and frenetic, but with the polish and ambience that one would expect more from a BM band than a DM. The keyboards play an extremely important role in setting the scene and allowing the rest of the band something to play against: to really appreciate the brutality it is necessary to have something gentle to provide contrast, and this they have in the proverbial spades. Produced, mixed, and mastered by Zack Ohren (Animosity, Suffocation, All Shall Perish et al), there is a sense of polish that removes it from the raw ferocity of some of the genre, but it works well for that. Well worth further investigation.

Rating: 7/10

Track list:
Godslaughter // Legacy Left // Hunted To Extinction // Draconian // Last Born // Flesh Of The Sun // Dawning Of Wrathful Deities // Seething Rot


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