What is this, that stands before me?? Well, this is KILL‘s latest album, “Great Death“, released on the 5th of July by the German label Amor Fati Productions. The 5th chapter in the band’s history, “Great Death” is definitely their best (and longest) work so far.
The CD version (the vinyl will follow later on) contains 8 songs with a duration of 49 minutes, each being a hymn to Death, war and destruction. This is a recurrent theme in KILL‘s catalogue, since they have never talked about lost love or pretty flowers.
Four years have passed since the release of “Burning Blood” (another impressive album, by the way) and the three Swedes (Warslaughter, Voltage and Getaz) are back again stronger than ever and determined to crush everything holy that remained intact. The assault is continuous, from the first riff that opens “Doom Oath” to the last one in “Wormwood Descends“. The whole album is violent, savage and raw, but at the same time it maintains a faint sense of melodic touches that flicker in the impenetrable darkness that it was spawned from.
Time seems to have been on their side and in these four years the band has managed to create a really solid work.
Besides “Doom Oath” and “Conflagration“, the remaining six songs are long, almost concept-like and mix with surgical precision fast, furious riffs and blast-beats with slow, crushing tempos which create a depressive and sinister atmosphere.
The title track is almost 8 minutes long and is the best example of that slow, creepy music which explodes in a burst of uncontrolled double-bass drumming and riffing that makes you wanna punch someone really hard.
Add to this already deadly mix the twisted, raucous voice of Carl Warslaugther and you’ll have the perfect recipe for how to create perfect havoc and mayhem.
Paradoxically,for a black metal band that is, the production on this album is very good and each instrument can be clearly heard. While the band still manages to keep that “nekro”, primitive sound that accompanied them on all their previous releases, this top notch production makes the songs cleaner, avoiding the sonic cacophony that so many black metal bands use and abuse even to this day.
I think that good production doesn’t mean selling out, but prevents a good material to be turned into crap, and you can convince yourself of this when listening to “Great Death“.
This review cannot be complete without mentioning the superb album cover, designed by the talented Mexican artist David Herrerias, who has previously worked with KILL on their split 7″ EP with Slaughtbbath, “The Black Celebration / The Sands of Despair“. The painting reproduces perfectly what the album “Great Death” is about and I cannot think of a better cover for this great release. (I can only imagine how this fantastic drawing would look like in a 12″ format).
Do not hesitate to spin this record multiple times, as every time it will grow on you and you’ll discover a new chord, riff or vocal part that will make you appreciate this music even more.
If you want to listen to what KILL sounds like live, be warned that in September the band will embark on a 9 date European Tour with Portugal’s Morte Incandescente and will play a handful of selected shows. Be there and be KILLed.
“Great Death” Track List:
1. Doom Oath 03:23
2. Totentanz 06:07
3. Wreath of Triumph 06:49
4. Conflagration 04:58
5. Fires of Famine 07:02
6. Great Death 08:18
7. Desolate Kingdom 05:45
8. Wormwood Descends 06:55
Warlslaughter: Vokillz & Death Thunder
Voltage: 666 Razors
Getaz: Artillery & War