Germany is known for having arguably the greatest thrash scene in the world, but as far as the new wave is concerned I haven't come across many bands that have made much of a name for themselves whether it be a huge name similar to Warbringer or Toxic Holocaust, or even a respectable underground following like Antichrist or Insinnerator, but there are a couple and both are top notch black/thrash acts. Those bands are Cruel Force and Ketzer. Ketzer's first offering "Satan's Boundaries Unchained" was an injection of absolute black/thrashing madness that would have made their fellow countrymen and forefathers in Desaster proud, with incredibly catchy songs full of raging riffs and an all around awesome feel. If you were expecting the same unchained (no pun intended) assault on the band's sophomore full-length "Endzeit Metropolis," then you might be a little surprised at first listen of this record.
Ketzer didn't completely change their sound, but there is definitely an evolution of sorts on this album. While the previous material from these guys is more influenced by bands like Desaster, Destroyer 666 and early Kreator, the music on "Endzeit Metropolis" has a clear Watain and Dissection influence due to the added melody and the resulting aura that's created. Ketzer doesn't waste anytime introducing their "matured" sound either, as the first riff on the first song (the title track) is a melodic-laced one (similar to the riff in "My Triumph" only a bit more melodic), but it's quite good and once Infernal Destroyer's vocals come in everything sounds great. Just in case some fans might be turned off by the first song, the next "A Requiem For Beauty" is devastating and is probably the best song I've heard all year of any genre. The intro riff is brilliant and instantly reminds the listener of the band's earlier material. The riffs later are also fantastic and the break of the song is just as amazing, thanks in part to the awesome drum fill that backs the riffs.
The rest of the songs after the first two don't really stray away from the sound that was set by the beginning tracks, but they manage to stand out. "The Fever's Tide" and "Aesthetics and Ecstasy" both contain some crushing midpaced moments that surpass some that were found on "Satan's Boundaries Unchained," while "Collector of Worlds" and "Redeemed by Truth" both have plenty of tremolo sections and a decent amount of melody intertwined throughout. The instrumental "Farewell, Fade Away" has a very melancholic vibe at first but ends with some great soloing and shows off Ketzer's ability as musicians and the ending epic "He, Who Stands Behind the Rows" reiterates the band's skills. At the end of the day, "Endzeit Metropolis" isn't as intense as its predecessor, but what it lacks in unbridled aggression it makes up for in memorable songs that any Ketzer fan should enjoy.
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"A Requiem for Beauty"
"The Fever's Tide"
4.25/5 or 85%.