Black Collar Workers

Keep of Kalessin Released a New EP, But You Can’t Listen To It


Keep of Kalessin - Introspection

When Keep of Kalessin released an excellent new song a couple of weeks ago called “Introspection” we wondered whether the track would be part of a future album or other purchasable collection. Now we have our answer — the song is the title track for a 3-song EP, which the band released TODAY — but there’s one major caveat: if you live in the U.S., or, from what I can tell, anywhere outside of Norway, you’re shit out of luck if you want to listen to it or buy it, even digitally.

The stupidity and hypocrisy of releasing a record territory-by-territory in this manner in 2013 is astounding. On the one hand, you fully embrace the power of the Internet by releasing music with little run-up and almost no lead-time whatsoever, where websites that are read the world over (like this one) can post about it and spread the news instantly. Then, in the same stroke, you ensure that only people living in one country are able to even listen to the album, let alone purchase it.

You could say that a move like this could serve to build hype, except the only thing it’s really building is rampant piracy. I haven’t checked any torrent sites yet (let alone YouTube, the greatest piracy haven of them all), but if Introspection isn’t posted there yet it’s only a matter of minutes before some Norwegian with legal access to the record uploads it for all the entire world to share. In the absence of legal means of procuring the album, anyone living in a geo-blocked territory will just turn to illegal means to obtain it. It’s too easy. Few have the patience to wait.

It’s not as if making the album available for the whole world is difficult either. Just sign up for a TuneCore account (or any number of other services), check the appropriate boxes, and after the requisite approval/waiting period… bing bang boom, done! If all the red tape and waiting period of iTunes is too much to deal with, heyo, Bandcamp! Album available to the world, instantaneously. Anyone can do it.

This all bums me out because I love Keep of Kalessin and want them to earn just deserts for the hard work they put into this EP. Instead they’re driving everyone to steal it, and by the time the EP is finally available for purchase outside of Norway all but a few die-hards will already have it. Money left on the table.

To what extent the blame here should lie on Indie Recordings, KoK’s record label, I’m not entirely sure. The geo-blocked Spotify link for Introspection lists Indie as the label, but the band’s rhetoric thus far has presented this EP as a self-release. I don’t know who is responsible for this decision, but either way: dumb dumb dumb.

Then again, maybe the band and label don’t care about the money at all and the last laugh’s on me.

Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits