Kill II This - Deviate
Last year I saw these lot with Megadeth. Didnt impress. Standard power metal, boring singer were my impressions. I may have seen them with Stuck Mojo as well, but it was one of those gigs where you didnt know the support band, I arrived late so missed any intros, and they didnt impress me enough to warrant any further enquiry.
But now theyre back, with a revamped line-up, and it seems, a revamped sound. And it works a hell of a lot better, though I still have some reservations, which Ill probably mention soon. The overall feel is hi-tech. Andy Sneap once more works wonders on the production, and its all very modern. And very good. Though its one of the albums where the technology at times feels as if its been added for extra effect, as opposed to be an integral part of the overall sound. It doesnt really matter too much if the overall quality of the songs is strong enough to support it, its just that when it feels natural (is that an oxymoron? technology = natural) it works so well in my opinion. Essentially, this is a metal album with added extras. And one of those added extras is the female backup vocals and the extensive use of operatic backing vocals. If that all sounds a little pompous, well in a way it is. Yet its not traditional metal, its modern enough to appeal to the new generation of fans. Provided they approach with an open mind. Thats what this album is about. It crosses a lot of boundaries, each of which is easily accessible, but you have to be prepared to go and meet it at times.
As for the songs themselves, well there are some real growers on here, such as The Flood, which is possibly my favourite at the moment. It actually has all the elements Ive mentioned, but builds up towards the final moments where everything gives way to a gentle piano outro. Nice. Another is Funeral, and Kill Your Gods.
The final track, The Lords Prayer revised as an attack on, I guess, Mynetts father, is well, I guess it means a lot to him, but Im not convinced that others will understand the feeling. It comes across as a bit cumbersome. Even to an extent, a bit cheesy. I guess thats where the often mentioned I really relate to this is needed. I dont.
But you know, the fact that Im nitpicking at little things should tell you quite a bit. It should say that I cant really nitpick the music. Which must mean its good. And at the end of the day, thats all that really matters.
Available on Torment