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Kall - "the Velvet Underground of black 'n' roll" according to Cvlt Nation - have come a long way. It has been six years since the successors of depressive black metal pioneers Lifelover released their self-titled debut, and while the ghost of their former band floats above three of the members, their second full-length "Brand" is a paean to self-empowerment and rigorous individualism.
"We are basically still dealing with past abuse and angst," the group states, “only in a more constructive way with the same sincerity." The raw-sounding, yet refined compositions mirror the emotional purity their creators wanted to maintain. The title "Brand" ("fire") refers to the song 'Eld' as a tale about a violently cathartic experience at a forest fire, making the primordial power of nature a recurring theme.
In this sense, the album is a call to overcome suffering by facing it right on, using the idioms of Scandinavian black metal, shoe-gazing post rock, saxophone-fueled psychedelia and the saddest of pop to get the message across. Break the shackles of society and let go of any preconceived notions while keeping in mind that you are not special, find your purpose in life to be as free as you possibly can.
Or - to use the Swedes' own plain words: "Kall, like Lifelover, shows its collective middle-finger to any scenes. The more they conform, the more we will set ourselves apart from them …"