Label: Whirlwind/Gordeon
Three similar bands:
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
01: Rare Earth Elements
02: Pandora's Empty Box 
03: Go Ahead and Feel The Pain
04: Disposable Man
05: Swings of All Moods
06: Indonesanity
07: Futuride
08: Playground
09: iComa
10: Space Between Spaces
11: Learning to Love The Future

As in 2012, Kekal has no official band members
Previous structure:
Jeff Arwadi (Guitars, Vocals, programming, drum machine, samples & loops)
Levi Sianturi (Bass)
Leo Setiawan (Guitars)
The three named as "main contributors" on 'Autonomy'

Beyond the Glimpse of Dreams (1998)
Embrace the Dead (1999)
The Painful Experience (2001)
1000 Thoughts of Violence (2003)
Acidity (2005)
The Habit of Fire (2007)
Audible Minority (2008)
8 (2010)


Jeff Arwadi – production, engineering and mixing
Leo Setiawan – additional engineering
Levi Sianturi – photography
Recorded: Northern Isolation Station, Calgary, Canada & Langit Sejuta Damai, Jakarta, Indonesia

Released 2013-11-15
Reviewed 2013-11-13


This reminds me of a mohawk hairstyle or a lesbian phase or ethanol for fueling cars - an experiment that is funny as long as it last but something that will not last forever and one day you'll wake up and think "what the hell was I thinking?!"

Don't get me right now, I'm not criticising 'Autonomy' in any way, but I'm pretty sure that music sounding like this is something you spend the rest of your life with, unless you die relatively soon from when you started to do it of course. 'Autonomy' is in fact composed a lot of things that sounds like (but probably aren't) random noises, very little vocals and usually only one or two instruments at a time. There are some exceptions to this, some songs are almost "normal" with vocals, drums, guitars and such things but they are in a definite minority. 'Autonomy' has a lot that's ingenious, and sometimes it also works very well but lots of it is just strange.

Take track five as an example, Swing Of All Moods, the first part of the song consist of something that can be labeled "normal" by their standard: music with vocals and fairly traditional structure but then about 2 1/2 minutes into the track, they go into a one minute long "drum-thingy" followed by something that sounds like music robots march to in a sci-fi movie, one more minute later everything just stops and it starts to sound like giant water droplets falling and landing in some kind of metallic ice world for about three minutes. The ninth track consist only of non-rhythmic drumming for 3 1/2 minutes without anything happening otherwise. This remarkable drumming comes and goes throughout the entire album - sometimes only strange and sometimes they manage to twist and turn around in a way that it becomes incredibly pleasant to listen to it . One track like that is the third on the album, Go Ahead And Feel The Pain, where the song turns from mostly just odd and disjointed to something really get comfortable about two minutes into the song. Beautifully almost . And it goes on for two and a half minutes. And it doesn't matter that they add other instruments to the context. The result is one of the best parts on the album.

I can't say what's puzzling me most with the music on 'Autonomy', but I know what makes me most puzzled by the album, which is that it's ninth album by the band. But things haven't always been like 'Autonomy'. Once upon a time this was a relatively traditional death metal band. When they started to add influences from elsewhere is when the downfall began and some time later, after getting more and more extreme for each album, they've come to this. When I say extremeI don't mean that in the fashion of getting angrier and heavier, not that it has become more death metal, but in the fashion that they are getting more and more over the top of "normality". As recent as a few years ago, though, like only two or three albums ago it still sounded most like music does and a little bit experimental. Today, it doesn't even sound a little bit like music but more or less only experiment. Even in the "normal" songs. The evolution has in many ways got out of hand from them, and most of that is because the band members has changed like the rest of us change clothes (and the member situation today is so strange that I'll pass on commenting it in order to avoid saying something wrong about it)... however, I really think this is a great album!

'Autonomy' was originally released 'in December 2012 but the Philippines work in now released for a third time after being digitally rereleased once already this summer. What the difference is in this version compared to the last is something I haven't been able to figure out, but one thing is certain: You haven't heard any albums that sounds like this since it was originally released - so why not? The truth is that this will definitely not appeal to everyone. I think most can agree that it is impressive, exciting and maybe even well made. But good? Far from everyone is going to sit at home and feel the urge to play it. It's as simple as that.

The people that wants to hear it then, those who sit at home and enjoy playing the album? People that do yearn to hear it, that can make something out of these simple, disjointed melodies? Well, what you get is an adventure unlike most of there is to choose from. 'Autonomy' is an album with musical quality that can be discussed but the musical skills from the people that has done it shines through the album in an indisputable way. The reason they do not get a higher rating is simply because can't see the album speak to a large enough potential audience. It's easy to be among the best at something no one else does ... a reason for people not doing that something may sometimes be that the something they do simply isn't good. When it comes Kekal I'm not quite sure it's because of that or that no one has thought about it before. But personally I like it, at least.




läs på svenska