2008 was something of a banner year for psychedelic black metal. The obvious breakthrough was Nachtmystium’s Pink Floyd-worship piece Assassins: Black Meddle, Pt. 1, the reverberations of which are still being felt with a slew of decade-best list inclusions. Norway’s Enslaved also released the very excellent Vertebrae in 2008, continuing the band’s progression from traditional black metal into psychedelia and landing the album a slew of “best of” nods for the year as well. Keep of Kalessin, a lesser known band from Norway, also made waves ripples in 2008 with their Nuclear Blast release Kolossus, another excellent record. Kolossus was neither overlooked or overhyped — it got precisely the amount of attention it deserved, garnering attention in all the right places and allowing the band to grow, develop and spread their worldwide reach organically.

Here we are in 2010. Nachtmystium are reportedly working on Black Meddle Part 2, tentatively due for release this Spring. No word from Enslaved yet, but one can only hope. And according to Blabbermouth Keep of Kalessin are working on a new album called Reptilian tentatively due in “early 2010” to which my reaction is yes yes yes yes YES!! It’s unclear whether they’ve finished recording the album yet, but they’ve at least finished one song, “The Dragontower,” for inclusion in the Eurovision contest Melodi Grand Prix. “The Dragontower” has more of a black n’ roll flavor than anything from Kolossus, and at only 3 minutes it’s also shorter, both qualities I’d attribute to the nature of the contest they’re entering (Bmouth tells us that the full, 5-minute version of the song will appear on Reptilian). If Rage Against the Machine can beat out UK pop in sales, maybe an extreme metal band can win a national TV competition in Norway? Stranger things have happened.

Stream the shortened version of “The Dragontower” below. We’ll keep you apprised of further developments related to Reptilian and try not to blatantly gush.


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