Being a band known for worship can pay off, I can’t quite say what makes it okay to imitate someone’s style but from time to time it just works. Yet I have spoken before with friends about various bands and quite often brought up the notion of ‘why bother?’. This might seem a touch harsh but what I mean by this is say a band looks and sounds exactly like Cannibal Corpse then what is the point in them existing, if I want that brand of Death Metal then I have Cannibal Corpse already. I guess what makes it okay to copycat another artist is to do it to such an extent that you almost parody the fact and thus become something different entirely. For example if you want to copy King Diamond then have a falsetto at every other note, don’t just copy a little, copy a lot.

So after that long winded somewhat contradictory introduction we come to Germany’s own copycats Keitzer. Often branded as ‘the German Misery Index’ (although that should probably be the other way around as Misery Index were formed later but never mind) the band have created their own niche over their many years. Formed back in 1999 the band dropped their debut …To Destroy The Planet Earth in 2001, with quite the bold title the band clearly had something to prove. Thus over their expansive six full lengths the band have kept afloat. Now in 2019 they unleash their seventh symphony Where The Light Ends through F.D.A. Records, can it prove as bombastic as some of the bands prior work?

Pounding drums and groovy riffs open Shattered Silence before the shout laden Grind vocals of Christian Silva Chaco stomp in with the aggression of Hardcore at points. It is a somewhat melodic albeit carnage infused affair that attempts to tackles the Death Metal stereotype. Sadly the following tracks Where The Light Ends, Under The Surface and Tyrants are a bit of a snoozefest. They follow the same troupes as the opener yet with less of a destructive feel pretty much dwindling into the realms of Death Metal by numbers with the odd Hardcore or Grind influence thrown in. In fact save for the riffs in Tyrants and opener Shattered Silence this first portion of the album is pretty drab.

Unfortunately it doesn’t get much better, the second half is merely another slope into the mundane, the only way I can fully describe this release is foot-tapping Death Metal. By which I mean it’s inoffensive but not at all invigorating. Practically no songs on the second half of the release grabbed my attention. We see the same old themes of melodic riffs laying over crushing drumming rotated again and again. Indeed it is a good sound, thus is my promotion of the opening track but alas after this it is basically the same song over and over again. Considering also that the album is under forty minutes and still boring it really shows how tired this record is.

I’m sure existing fans of Keitzer will disagree and of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me this is a desperate lacking of influence and power. Perhaps in fact some of the most generic Death Metal I’ve heard for some time which is strange given the slight Grind and Hardcore themes therein. It would appear that reading the proverbial tin would be more interesting than the contents. On the outside it has all the makings for interesting Death Metal but the reality is that it is so rigid in these influences that it cannot escape its own box, a tortured and lacklustre effort overall.

(4/10 George Caley)