KETZER – Starless
Starless is the third full length release from German five-piece Ketzer. Stylistically, this could be described as post black metal with a thrashy, hard-rocking vibe. The production is extremely classy – very clear, professional and expensive sounding. Ketzer achieve a great mix between the cerebral and technical side of writing and playing and the more direct construction of simple effective riffs and melodies that grab the listener right from the off. Not an easy trick to pull off but Ketzer make it look pretty effortless.
Those who know Ketzer from previous releases will most certainly be surprised by the direction taken by the band this time out. Whereas before they sounded a little like Nifelheim or Destroyer 666, now they have completely stepped away from that path to craft something angsty and atmospheric. Not a blast or fast section on offer at all. Even more impressive is the feeling that the change elicits no sense of betrayal or sell-out at all. Starless is so seamless and so well put together that even the most cynical listeners would find something to like here. Yes, the Black Metal and Thrash sensibilities are still in evidence, but perhaps presented in a less up-front way.
Overall then, a tough one to pigeonhole. Adult Oriented Black Metal? Post Black Thrash? Who knows? Who cares? Starless introduces an extremely welcome new chapter in the Ketzer story. Buy it and see for yourself.