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KILLER
KILLER
Immortal
(Mausoleum Records)
62:52min

"Broken Silence", KILLER's comeback album from 2003, caused quite a lot of controvery among Metalfans in general and die hard worshippers of the band in particular... The reason was the unexpected use of keyboards, which dominated their classic Metal sound a bit too much on that album. Even though I personally got used to it rather quickly (which isn't really a big deal if you're a wimp like me, haha), the material by no means reached the class of their older releases (which mainly impressed because of their raw, uncompromising MOTÖRHEAD - type charme). But instead of continuing on in that direction, KILLER surprisingly took all the criticism to heart and made sure to return back to basics, with a stronger, new album entitled "Immortal"! Due to the fact that original bassplayer and second vocalist Spooky is no part of this whole reunion thing, the Lemmy - style vocals are of cause still missing, but as Shorty used to sing on all their classic releases as well already, there's no real problem here. In general "Immortal" turns out to be an album full of well written and performed traditional Metal, with no modern overtones at all, which is absolutely great in my book! There's plenty of double-bass drumming to be heard on the entire record, which means that KILLER are obviously more and more returning to their angrier side, which fits them a lot better anyway. At least all those of you who are already over 30 years of age will easily recognize a lot of references to classic Metal acts... The title track for instance is musically (not vocally!) heavily influenced by good ol' PRIEST (a few others as well), 'Easy Rider' is based on a cool SAMMY HAGAR - type riff ('There's Only One Way To Rock' to be more precise here), 'The Mirror' delivers rather classical inspired, "guitar-hero" like guitarwork, 'Highland Glory' has a rather Irish feel to it and the album's closer 'Ad Tempus Vitae' is an impressive instrumental! The best thing is yet to come though: keyboards are only used very rarely and in the background nowadays! And the material pretty much benefits from that as opposed to get dominated by them. Not all of the songs knew to convince me completely (which is pretty natural these days, especially considering the disc's rather long playing time), but the more I listened to this 12 tracker the more the record grew on me. Only the rather sterile and too synthetic sounding (yet very professionally done) production doesn't really compliment the band's old school vibes too well in my opinion. But technology marches on and bands obviously like it that way, otherwise it wouldn't have become such a common sound these days. So, to sum it up: KILLER learned from their mistakes and have definitely chosen the right path again! More info: www.4-killer.com

Frank Stöver

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