Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

Is France quickly become a metal hot bed? It sure seems that a lot of good, quality metal is coming from that part of the world these days. One of the latest examples of this are Khaelys. The band play Symphonic Metal with female operatic vocals – which are supplied by Kenza Rafi – in combination with the more brutal vocals of Bass player Stephane Come. In 2008 Khaelys released a three song EP titled “Renewall”, now the band have returned with their independently released full-length debut, “Darkest Hours”. Fans who may have had the good fortune to grab a copy of the debut EP will notice that the 3-songs on that one are also included on this debut full-length. They are “The Madness”“The War” and “Let Me Dream”. In all, “Darkest Hours” includes 10-songs and a playing time of 43-minutes. The opening track “Laments from Beyond” is merely an intro that begins with some spooky, chills inducing keyboard music that quickly escalates into an up-tempo instrumental that leads into “Gone Away”. A cool, melodic opening track that features plenty of great riffs and the powerful vocals of Kenza are present for the majority of the track until Stephane joins in with his brutal style near the end. “The War” and “Frozen Gift” are next and they are followed by “Cursed Necropolis” which is one of the heaviest and most aggressive tracks included here. This song quickly became a favorite, thanks to it’s aggressiveness, yet still maintaining the melody that the band displays throughout “Darkest Hours”. That is followed by another favorite in “Bittersweet”. This song also includes some clean male vocals to go along with Kenza‘s operatic delivery. The ballad “Let Me Dream” closes out the CD on a dark, mournful and melancholic note. The vocals of Kenza Rafi often remind me of Simone Simons of Epica, which is not a bad thing at all. It may take a few listens to let the songs sink in but “Darkest Hours” is a very powerful, dramatic and bombastic debut and a great introduction to Khaelys. The overall sound and quality of the production is top-notch, but that would be irrelevant if not for the great songs and presentation put forth by Khaelys. It’s all about the quality of the material and on “Darkest Hours”, Khaelys deliver plenty of it.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Laments from Beyond
  2. Gone Away
  3. The War
  4. Frozen Gift
  5. Cursed Necropolis
  6. Bittersweet
  7. The Madness
  8. Left Alone
  9. Misty Shadows
  10. Let Me Dream

 

Line Up

  • Kenza Rafi – Vocals
  • Damien Fieng – Guitar
  • Stephane Côme – Vocals, Bass
  • John Jumeau – Keyboards
  • Lucie Duval – Drums

 

Links

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