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Friday 1 September 2017

Reviews: Kinlin, Hell Fire, Atorc, Wrath Of The Gods

Kinlin: The Last Stand (Self Released)

Kinlin are a four piece heavy rock band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, now before this record I have never heard of them before but I will say their music is actually an appealingly chunky mix of Black Album Metallica riffs, Alice In Chains vocals and Black Label Society solos. This is their third record and it's probably their best sounding, there are very few moments when the album dips, the quality is high with a slick style of American metallic hard rock. Kicking things off is Wake Up where DeWayne Hart does his best a Layne Stanley by way of Zakk Wylde as the band play a big ballsy riff, however they change up with the Tom Lynch playing intricate guitar leads. The Last Stand is a great record with muscular ballads sprinkled between the massive riffs, Kinlin sound a lot like the band Mustasch with a metallic shine and a melodic heart, they even manage some prog on the killer Blood Of Our Fathers. Like I said I have never heard of Kinlin before but their American heavy rocking is enough to make me want to discover more about them, it's a record full of tasty riffs, electric solos and big vocal hooks, good stuff all round. 8/10

Hell Fire: Free Again (Self Released)

Recently there has been an influx of American bands playing leather clad metal some of the most recent examples are Night Demon, Spellcaster, Visigoth and Holy Grail who all tread the fine line between NWOBHM and traditional US speed metal of Exciter (I know they're Canadian before you write a letter), Racer X and Cacophony. With blistering riffs and Flying V's set to stun San Francisco mob Hell Fire are the latest band to be so influenced by the NWOBHM they practically become a pastiche, still the point of this genre is a celebration of the classic sounds of that movement and Hell Fire have it down pat. The only thing I would say is that no matter how good the playing is the vocals are a bit of a let down. Free Again is unashamedly retro but that's about all it is, meat and potatoes speed metal where the only true standout is Wheels Of Fire a song about the heated rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. A record for true metal fanatics only. 6/10

Atorc: Seven Tales Of Swords And Ale (Self Released)

Atorc are from East Anglia and they draw heavily from the Anglo-Saxon and Viking history of the area by playing folk influenced metal that has keys and violins underscoring every song, the violins lead on instrumental Scurvy Schemes and Winter Solstice, the keys are omnipresent on There Will Be Blood. The record is full of thigh slapping jigs such as Crossbones, cinematic power metal Sons Of Ragnar and the epic Boudicca's Revenge which has more than a nod to NWOBHM. There is a real glorious cacophony of noises here with The Battlebeast and Thor the thumping rhythm section while Scallywag peels off riff after riff. You can hear Turisas and Eluveitie here but also Blind Guardian and Falconer mainly due to massive vocals of Hellbard. For fans of folk metal Atorc are jolly good fun with the right balance of frivolity and ferocity, grab an ale and get folky! 7/10

Wrath Of The Gods: The Witching Hour (Iris Records)

Birmingham band Wrath Of The Gods features former members of Marshall Law, Nya, Jameson Raid and Beholder, formed in late 2016 The Witching Hour is their debut EP and contains four strong metal tracks that bring modern riffs to old school style, Epitaph kicks things off as Wayne Dorman and Dave Rothman let the riffs fly with ruthless aggression, it's aggressive thrash metal with classic metal nods. Wrath Of The Gods sound an awful lot like Megadeth by way of Halford's Fight project due to Dorman's vocal stylings and his lead wizardry where he duels throughout with Rothman as Pete Green and Lars Wickett make up the tough rhythm section. Unto The Battle Born shows explosive lead breaks and Witching Hour sees them trying some doom riffs. Wrath Of Gods have really lain down a gauntlet for there full length, these four tracks are strong but allude to what else could be coming from the band on a future full length. 7/10 

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