Kill II This - Deviate

Last year I saw these lot with Megadeth. Didn’t 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 didn’t know the support band, I arrived late so missed any intros, and they didn’t impress me enough to warrant any further enquiry.

But now they’re 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 I’ll probably mention soon. The overall feel is hi-tech. Andy Sneap once more works wonders on the production, and it’s all very modern. And very good. Though it’s one of the albums where the technology at times feels as if it’s been added for extra effect, as opposed to be an integral part of the overall sound. It doesn’t really matter too much if the overall quality of the songs is strong enough to support it, it’s 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 extra’s 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 it’s not traditional metal, it’s modern enough to appeal to the new generation of fans. Provided they approach with an open mind. That’s 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 I’ve 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 Lord’s Prayer revised as an attack on, I guess, Mynett’s father, is well, I guess it means a lot to him, but I’m not convinced that others will understand the feeling. It comes across as a bit cumbersome. Even to an extent, a bit cheesy. I guess that’s where the often mentioned “I really relate to this” is needed. I don’t.

But you know, the fact that I’m nitpicking at little things should tell you quite a bit. It should say that I can’t really nitpick the music. Which must mean it’s good. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

Available on Torment