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Kekal

  

Jeff and Levi

Kekal are a heavy metal and electronic fusion band which formed in 1995 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is still operating, although under slightly unusual circumstances. Kekal was one of the first heavy metal bands from Southeast Asia to make an impression on the international music market, and they have left an impression on the global metal scene.

While considered heavy metal by most, those with a more refined ear for heavier music will tell you that Kekal are an experimental band who mostly produce black metal, progressive metal and avant-garde metal, but who also incorporate a range of influences from diverse genres such as ambient, jazz fusion, electronic and progressive rock. While starting out as a more stereotypical example of a metal band, the group have refined their sound over time into something more experimental and electronic to keep up with the ever changing sound of the metal market, and have even gone as far as using electronic autotuned vocals on top of black metal riffs. For those who like to indulge in a bit of metal music, it is interesting, technical, and extremely virtuosic in moments.
The bands first official demo was supposedly recorded in band member Jeff Arwadi's bedroom on a Foster X-28 4-track tape recorder and a $2 karaoke microphone, yet still after going into circulation managed to catch the attention of several record labels in the metal scene outside of Southeast Asia, and soon the band were sent several record deals. Their first album, “Beyond the Glimpse of Dreams” was self produced and released in 1998, and was released on two record labels allowing the band to gain an international recognition across Europe and the USA. Despite one member leaving the band, they released their second album “Embrace the Dead” the following year. There was a fair amount of dissatisfaction with their second album due to the fact that the band members felt pressured to try to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and so their third album “The Painful Experience”, actually titled after the singer's endurance of the recording of the second album, raised the band back up to their reputation of being experimental and anti-mainstream.
in 2006, the founding member of the band, Jeff, decided to move to Canada which left the rest of the group in a purgatory state, and fans questioning whether or not the group had gone their separate ways, however the band decided to endure and carry on, although only as a studio project, releasing “The Habit of Fire” in 2007 to critical acclaim. In 2009, officially all of the members left the band, although the name would still continue, just without any members. Jeff announced he was leaving the band, and many fans thought this was the end of Kekal's musical career.
Despite this, in 2010 the band announced that they were working on a new album. Although all of the members of the band had officially left, many former members, including Jeff, were all contributing, and in 2011 they released their eighth album, suitably titled “8”. Despite not being a conventional band and operating mostly as a studio project, the band still functions today and has released new material under their new circumstances.
The band have had many influences over the years, and considers itself “street progressive” which suggests that they have an edgier, punk-like feel which is more reminiscent of The Mars Volta instead of typical progressive bands like Dream Theater. The band themselves have quoted their influences as mostly heavy metal bands from the 80s, such as Iron Maiden, Helloween and Sodom, although due to their diverse and experimental style, elements from music such as A-ha, Björk, Outcast, Massive Attack and Depeche Mode are also present in their music, even if only as fluctuating influeces. They are also a heavily christian band, and although this has had an influence on their lyrics, the band claim that they are not an example of Christian metal.
The band, since the beginning, has had control over their music, production, and artwork, giving them the power to create exactly what they have envisioned and to be completely independent, which is very reflective in their cutting edge sounds. Despite having a questionable future, we hope to see more of their experimental sounds gracing our speakers in the future.

 

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