Review: Ketos – First Strike

Review: Ketos First Strike

Hostile Media  (April 26th 2019)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy 

Hailing from Northern Ireland Ketos play a very melodic based style of Thrash, but with some more aggressive vocals at times, the end result is their 9 song debut album ‘First Strike‘, and although this one did not grab me on first listen too much it’s definitely grown on me.

Released through Hostile Media this album is a fine piece of work by a young band still in it’s relative infancy. Have to pay particular attention to the duelling guitars of ‘Dwayne Close‘ and ‘Keith HD‘ who really do shred so well in unison or alone, and the excellent Peter Renshaw who manages to completely pull off sounding like two different vocalists, it’s not something that every singer can do and in both styles he sounds great. Some great power on show here. Add in the power of the backline of James Popple (Bass) and Gareth Dick (Drums) just helps to elevate this release.

There are some cracking tracks on here, from the opener ‘Escape The Chains‘ with it’s gatling gun drumming, just smashing you in the face it’s a great way to open the album, then there’s  ‘Harmacist‘ which is a real beast beast of a track, speeding along like a freight train with no brakes and then it punches into a very Testament style chorus but the track generally has more speed and more aggression, it’s a keeper. ‘Temptations‘ is another track that manages to keep coming back into your head and just grabs control, there’s a certain maturity that perhaps wouldn’t be expected in this setup yet, but it’s here and there’s a lot more to come from this band. In places I’m reminded of their influences but the maintain enough of their own fresh stamp everywhere.

Overall this is a powerful debut from a band that clearly has a lot of promise and no shortage of talent. The whole package works well together here, the music, the arrangements the production and most importantly the songs. Ketos are not a name fresh on everyone’s tongue just yet, but give this a spin and keep an eye out for them. Can’t wait to see what direction they choose as they develop but this is an excellent start..

Track list:

  1. Escape The Chains
  2. Into The Maelstrom
  3. Temptations
  4. Harmacist
  5. Ascendant
  6. The Lost Ones
  7. Full Force
  8. Fall In Line
  9. First Strike

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