Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kilmara - Love Songs & Other Nightmares (CD Review)

02.Devils Eye
03.The Break Up
04.Cold Rain
06.Nothing To Me
07.usual Strangers
10.Play To Win
11.Time Flies

Christian Wolfgang Kohl (Vocals)
Jonathan Portilo (Guitar)
Kike Torres (Guitar)
Raúl Ruiz (Bass)
Javi Morillo (Drums)

Pilar Villatovas (Vocals on 'Fantasy')
Dave Imbernon (Keyboards)
Kaleb (Violin)
Roland Grapow (Backing Vocals)

Formed in Barcelona, Spain in 2003 as 'Jadde'.After releasing their first demo, they recruited vocalist Christian “Wolf” Kohl and then changed their musical direction and name.

Their influences range from the DiAnno-era Iron Maiden to Savatage as well as power and prog rock/metal.
Kilmara’s debut release 'Hunting Dreams' was a strong performance despite having a few obvious flaws like any new metal band would. However, overall it was a strong, respectable and honest effort that was enough to leave some anticipation and curiosity for the next release 'Dont fear The Wolf'.

In November of 2010, Kilmara signed with U.K. label Rising Records who then re-released ‘Don’t fear the wolf’ worldwide in early 2011.
This release was followed by numerous tours and also some line up changes, then work began on this latest release

First off - Hooray! no intro, just straight into the music.Its a drum driven rocker as well, nice vocals and a guest death metal style vocal from Villatovs, put me in mind of 3 Inches Of Blood, it has that classic euro metal feel but with edge.

'Devils Eye' keeps the pace going, plenty of punchy riffs with a solid vocal performance and again very much driven by the drum rhythm, throw in a screaming guitar solo and so we are 2 out of 2.

Now before power metal got all technical and full of overblown guitar and keyboard rubbish, it was a genre that took elements of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and was good to listen to, now this song 'The Break Up' has all the hallmarks of proto power metal circa 1984, it has the melody and hooks and vocal style down to perfection.No surprise that this is released as the first single.

Rain effects and a slow moody riff greets 'Cold Rain' add to that some near spoken vocals and this one is creating quite an atmosphere, the chorus breaks it up well and adds another well produced layer.

Oh no acoustic style guitar playing and some gentle tapping of the cymbals, please dont be a ballad!
Well have to say 'Believe' is a borderline power ballad and yes, okay, its well played with nice backing vocals and the solo towards the end does lift the song, but no not really my thing.

The horror of the previous track is laid to rest with 'Nothing To Me' a real mid 80's sounding heavy metal song, pounding drums and superb riffs with a powerful vocal from "Wolf" who manages to blend agression, menace and harmony in the space of a four minute song.

The opening to 'Usual Strangers' does slightly remind me of something by Armoured Saint, they soon nail their own style on this though.

'Alpha' has an almost folk metal riff and drum pattern running throughout, blended with mainstream power metal and some high pitched vocal screams.

Some technical elements of the drum/guitar give this a real punch, reminiscent of Fear Factory at times 'Insomnia' a balanced song between harmony and agression.

'Play To Win' runs along at a solid pace for a few minutes then changes the timing for the guitar solo and the second half of the song moves dangerously close to that power ballad again!

The final song 'Time Flies' starts with some great piano playing, but the song doesn't seem to go anywhere until a couple of minutes in when the guitars kick in and the keyboards start to get symphonic.
Some clever multi-tracking on the vocals and another great solo bring the song and the album to a close.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of: Helloween, Dream Theatre, Savatage, Evergrey, Helstar, EdGuy, Edens Curse

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