Release Date: August 27th 2021. Record Label: Majestic Mountain Records. Format: DD/Vinyl
Dark Majesty - Tracklisting
Captain - Vocals
Josh - Guitar
Doffy - Guitar
Bjudas - Drums
Johnsen - Bass
Norway’s finest Stoner Metal Export KAL-EL return with their 5th album Dark Majesty and what an epic, bold and Spaced Out Adventure. KAL-EL have been perfecting their Black Sabbath/Monster Magnet inspired blend of Stoner Metal quite convincingly over their last two albums but this album is where everything comes together and KAL-EL perhaps becoming one of the finest Spaced Out Stoner Rock/Metal bands out there.
The album clocks in at 65 minutes spread across 8 songs. Some of the songs run between 8 mins to 11 mins in length which KAL-EL have employed that epic style of music for the past few albums. So it’s nothing new but KAL-EL are perhaps way more progressive especially on the excellent opening song Temple. With its dark Psychedelic Rock flourishes and gloomy baked sonic passages with the vocals still having that Ozzy Osbourne charm. The lyrics are obviously inspired by Science Fiction and Fantasy with a sense of realism making it applicable to modern day politics if you want to delve further into the music.
Second song - Spiral - is one of the shortest tracks on the album along with Cometa running around 4:30 minutes and it’s a more conventional Stoner Metal song. We’ve heard KAL-EL do this type of song multiple times but it still sounds so refreshing. Energetic Stoner grooves that crackle with gloomy based intensity whilst still being fun and a mixture of different styles with perhaps their love for Black Sabbath shining through.
The band move into Prog Stoner Metal overload on the next few songs with Mica, Hyperion and Dark Majesty seeing KAL-EL lay everything on the line and play the heaviest, trippiest and most progressive grooves on the record with Hyperion and Dark Majesty being genuine highlights of the album. The vocals from Cpt Ulven and amazing drumming of Bjudas bring a more “DOOM” element to the album and the other members - Doffy (Guitars), Josh (Guitars) and Uncle J (Bass) focus on bringing the Psychedelic and Fuzzed out aspect of the album. Put all these together and it builds up to an exciting Star Wars based adventure.
KAL-EL covers a lot of ground of this album and it’s good to see the band cover the breadth of the last 30 years of the Stoner Metal scene on Dark Majesty exploring many different avenues that the band haven’t tried before.
The album has wonderful production values throughout and everything feels in its rightful place with the record having a huge likeability and repeatability factor. Some folks have complained that the album is a tad too long at 65 mins. Well all I can say is you get “A LOT OF BANG FOR YOUR BUCK” and KAL-EL give you real value for money with Dark Majesty.
Overall, Dark Majesty is the album that KAL-EL have finally made that makes even Monster Magnet feel outdated. A bold statement. Perhaps, but wait until you hear this record for yourself.
Potentially one of the finest and most essential Stoner Metal albums of 2021 has just landed.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Dark Majesty will be available to buy on JDD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records from August 27th 2021.