Released Friday 3 March 2023.
For fans of Soleluna, Replicant, Veilburnerv
Eternitarian: The Essential Kekal 1995–2022 (2023) is a best-of compilation album from Jakarta, Indonesia’s Kekal. It features 31 tracks, clocks in at 2 hours 57 minutes and 42 seconds, spanning 27 years worth of Kekal’s music with select material taken from the band’s entire 13 full-length albums, 3 EPs, and also their very first 1995 demo tape. Presented in this free or donation-based digital-download only release are the band’s old-time favourites as well as highlights from newer material and previously unreleased alternate-mixes.
This is a special release that has been requested frequently because there are music lovers out there that have some interest in checking out Kekal but haven’t got a chance to hear the music yet (and don’t know where to start), also the majority of Kekal’s regular listeners tend to listen only one particular era of the band. Eternitarian serves the purpose of introducing the entire Kekal’s discography with highlights from every album and EPs from the 1990s to 2022. It is not only limited to work as a mere introductory sampler. It can also work as an essential Kekal playlist because every track is carefully picked based on listeners’ favourites and reviewers’ best picks.
Formed in 1995 as a more straight-forward extreme metal band with punk-influences, Kekal has been evolving during their long career. Their monumental 4th album 1000 Thoughts of Violence (2003) marked the beginning of their journey into the unknown, successfully blending extreme metal with progressive and experimental elements while still remaining accessible.
I really enjoyed Kekal’s last album, Kekal—Envisaged (2022) which I gave 85%. I said that it was “easy to see why Kekal were one of the first Indonesian artists to gain notoriety in the North American and European scenes. Theirs is a unique sound, the fusion of a million influences, with an energy and determination to push boundaries.”
Now listening to music that spans an impressive 27 years, it is refreshing to hear their progress and track their musical journey. Like their previous, this album still isn’t an easy listen. It demands attention. For just shy of three hours. If you enjoy experimental heavy music, definitely check this out.
Review score: 85%
MDPR contacted me inviting me to preview Kekal’s forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either MDPR or Kekal. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Zach from MDPR, and to Kekal for continuing to create fresh, exciting music.