Album Review: The Kennedy Veil – Imperium

By Rosie Walker

Hungry and uncompromising, the young death metal band The Kennedy Veil is stepping up the modern metal game. In 2009, out of Northern California, four fellas founded this group and have made a point to be heard. With just two full-length albums under their belt, these guys are still bright eyed and bushy tailed. Proving their worth by the success of their records and from touring with legends like Exhumed and Cattle Decapitation, the scene is ready to hear what’s next. On October 20, the band will be releasing their third album, ‘Imperium’, through Unique Leader Records.

The first track, ‘Godslaughter’, opens with some ominous guitar tones and menacing blast beats that immediately provide a thrill for the ears. New vocalist, Monte Bernard slays with his versatile gutturals and screeches. His skillful pronunciation surges with authority and efficiency. It’s easy to get lost in the band’s tales of woe, the song, ‘Legacy Left’, confronts topics about corruption and the depravity of mankind. You hear black metal, deathcore, and their older technical style all wrapped into one. Their song structure is strong and gives guidance to the listener who is trying to digest all that is going on between the masterful work of guitarist KC Childers and newcomer bassist Tyler Hawkins. Plus, drummer Gabe Seeber keeps the energy level high by applying speed, power, and precision.

Just over seven minutes long, ‘Hunted To Extinction’, is the longest song on this 8-track record. The creative melodies twisted into this piece reveals how this album isn’t as technical as their past two, but is filled with more dimensions and doom. Tracks ‘Last Born’ and ‘Flesh Of The Sun’, heat things up by singeing the senses with their brutal tones and Monte’s vicious, primal, and seething screams. You can hear their European influences with the tasteful melancholic melodies that give the gloomy, tragic feel. There’s a fresh, full sound with the eery synths that rest on top of each song on this record. Ending on an extra dramatic note, ‘Seething Rot’ creeps over you with its angry lyrics and continuous carnage of riffs and blast beats. In addition, the melody is placed so perfectly throughout the songs that it adds a more sensitive, meaningful edge to their brutal sound.

If you want a cold, hard slap of despair and rage in your face, this album is for you. It’s good to think about life’s harder topics, and The Kennedy Veil definitely know how to dictate and divulge on the darker themes this world faces. The album shows these guys are less worried about speed and are more focused on actual writing and song structure. Drummer Gabe, says, “The Kennedy Veil are aiming to harken back to a more primal and aggressive form of the genre.” It’s a good listen and allows you to hear some of the new twists happening in the death metal scene. The Kennedy Veil’s slower, more epic sound is refreshing instead of just blazing speed and blast beats.

Rating: 8/10

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Record Label: Unique Leader
Release Date: October 20th 2017

Track Listing:
1. Godslaughter (5:09)
2. Legacy Left (4:22)
3. Hunted To Extinction (7:03)
4. Draconian (4:19)
5. Last Born (3:57)
6. Flesh Of The Sun (5:09)
7. Dawning Of Wrathful Deities (4:29)
8. Seething Rot (5:26)

Total Duration: 39:54

The Kennedy Veil links: facebook | twitter | instagram | bandcamp