Metal Review: Kayser: Read Your Enemy (2014)

Kayser Read Your Enemy

Purchase Kayser Read Your Enemy

Kayser is one of the more interesting thrash metal bands out there these days. For one, they hail from Sweden, better known for death metal and power metal, so it is a rarity to find a thrash band that is not half bad coming from Sweden. Also, they are nearly 10 years since their formation, but are just releasing their third studio album, “Read Your Enemy,” and their first since 2006.

Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand’s vocals are a talking point about the band because of his unconventional thrash vocals. He utilized a little bit of raspiness to give his vocals that extra edge, which is something that you really need in thrash where vocals have to stick out with some sort of powerful approach. Clean vocalists in thrash never seem to work out so well in metal.

Mattias Svensson and Jokke Pettersson are an impressive guitar tandem trading leads in the manner of my favorite duo of all-time, Glenn Tipton and KK Downing of Judas Priest (I still miss you KK).

Another unconventional thing that Kayser does is that the songs are catchy and rarely too intricate. The riffs are always solid, but there are no songs where intricate patterns are being used and the songs come out very simplistic. That is not to saw anything bad about the band. Sometimes, you just need your dose of metal without the intricacy, and for times like that, Kayser would be perfect.

“Read Your Enemy” is a very solid album from the opening catchy Bark and Bow to the fun aspects of Bring Out the Clown. I’ll Deny You is another track that is a middle finger to anyone in opposition to the band. Dreams Bent Clockwise is one of the more elaborate songs on the release using thrash patterns and even some ballad moments interspersed throughout.

The title track, Read Your Enemy, is a thrash masterpiece. The opening riffs leads into the powerful vocal section, which powers the listener down like a jackhammer. This is one of those perfect examples of the guitar team trading solos in a splendid way.

A lot of what you hear in Kayser is mid-90s Megadeth-style thrash metal utilizing more melodic elements of metal that you would normally not associate with thrash bands. Thrash fans have been clamoring for a release like “Read Your Enemy,” and here it is for you.

Read Your Enemy Tracklisting:
1. Bark and Bow
2. Bring Out the Clown
3. I’ll Deny You
4. Dreams Bent Clockwise
5. Read Your Enemy
6. Almost Home
7. Where I Belong
8. He Knows Your Secrets
9. Forever in Doubts
10. Carve the Stone
11. Roll the Dice
12. The Fake Rose

Kayser Lineup:
Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand – Vocals
Mattias Svensson – Guitar
Jokke Pettersson – Guitar
Emil Sandin – Bass
Bob Ruben – Drums

Record Label: Listenable Records