Ketzer – Cloud Collider

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor / Label: Metal Blade
Released: 2019
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Band Line-up:

Gerrit aka I. Destroyer – Vocals
Marius aka Executor – Guitar
Chris aka Sinner – Guitar
David aka Necroculto – Bass
Søren aka Desecratør – Drums

Track Listing:
  1. The Machine 1.17
  2. Keine Angst 5.25
  3. Walls 4.33
  4. Cloud Collider 5.38
  5. Forever Death 1.26
  6. The Wind Brings Them Horses 3.54
  7. No Stories Left 4.52
  8. This Knife Wont Stay Clean Today 4.09
  9. (The Taste Of) Rust And Bone 4.54
  10. Light Dies Last 6.26

German band Ketzer started out strong in 2009 releasing debut Satan’s Boundaries Unchained, a hard-hitting, well-received first album which followed on from self-released EP Witchunter in 2007.

‘Cloud collider’ is their fourth release and sees them return to a much heavier, darker sound like their last album ‘Starless’ in 2016. This is a real development in their sound, with rich layers from thrashing speed to more melodic darkness.

The first three songs definitely mesh together with a similar feel and same hard-hitting pace. Lots of atmospherics really flesh out their sound. There is such ferocity and power right from the outset it literally grabs hold and doesn’t let go!

A swaying and gentle drift of an intro leads into first track ‘Keine Angst’, which begins with an ominous beat and then goes full throttle with catchy hooks and a fast paced rhythm and vocals from ‘Infernal Destroyer’ (Gerrit) full of grit and determination. There are really good break downs and changes of pace within the song which prevents any monotony. Every track pulls you in and has you eager to listen, they are brilliantly crafted and theatrical.

Title track ‘Cloud Collider’ kicks up a gear and has more of an urgency to it, still with interesting swerves but definitely that notch faster-paced and grittier. The added layer of well-placed sound effects and atmospheric instrumentals makes the transition into a different direction cohesive and flow naturally.

The stand out track is definitely ‘The Wind Brings Them Horses’: it’s beautiful and brutal in equal measure, with Gerrit exploring different aspects of his vocal range and coming out strong in all areas.

The whole album has some really intricate twists and turns which keep it fresh and interesting throughout; the execution is very well thought out. The first single to be released, ‘No Stories Left’, has the added bonus of guest vocalist Proscriptor McGovern of Absu bringing in yet another rich element. Song placement and dynamic take you on an exciting journey with each track more than earning its place.

This is a very strong collection and a real credit to the band who have clearly worked extremely hard to produce a sound that is both true to their origins and also an exquisite meeting of much refinement and evolution – heavy and furious with an underlying richness of a sinister, melodic and highly emotive musical narrative. Every moment is mapped well, with closing track ‘Light Dies Last’ perfectly depicting the end of the album in a crescendo of elements rounded up from previous tracks to tie it together and finish triumphant.

This is a really exciting direction they have taken. It’s fresh and relevant and incredibly well crafted.

Review by:

Rebecca Bush