|Review: Killer - Immortal|
Label: Mausoleum Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 1, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.8/5 (96%) (5 Votes)
I knew Belgium's Killer had released an album in recent years and had read some more or less negative comments about it (especially compared to their 80's output - I think it had to do with abusive use of keyboards.) I was quite surprised a couple of weeks ago when I saw this title while browsing the new arrivals at The End Records and I ordered it immediately. Well, whatever was wrong with the previous album, they seem to have redeemed themselves with "Immortal". This album has been abusing my various CD players, mp3 player and air guitar skills for several days now.
The style is very close to what they did back in the 80s on albums such as "Ready to Hell" and "Shockwaves", but not to the point of getting repetitive - they're not "releasing the same album over and over". The first thing I noticed is that, despite having the same vocalist, the vocals are a bit different - in a good way. I found the vocals on their earlier albums to be an acquired taste that was still difficult to swallow at times, but here things are much better. The vocal lines on almost every song are quite catchy and good for singing along - in fact this is one rare occurrence where I get a whole album stuck in my head rather than just a few songs.
Musically, well, this is heavy metal that on occasion does a little flirting with speed metal. Beside "Easy Rider", you don't get much time to relax - "Liquid Shadows" at first gives the impression of an incoming ballad, but after a few seconds you get slammed against a wall and beaten to death by the sheer speed of the track. Back to "Easy Rider", this one stands a bit apart by being slightly slower, sounding slightly like a metalized ZZ Top song - very cool. The opener "Immortal" is a massive kick in the ass that pounds you down on the floor from the first nanosecond, followed by the slightly catchier "Frozen Fire-Burning Ice" which has some memorable vocal lines right from the start. Damn... I'm not going to name all the songs here... Not one single filler out of some 62 minutes of music, this is quite unusual in its own right. Just as before, the guitars are the stars with a razor-sharp, crunchy and heavy sound, with the drums doing quite well thank you very much. Some may balk at the production, but even though it could be better, I think its little imperfections give some added value to those songs that need a rawer, aggressive and powerful sound. As for the keyboards, whatever they did wrong on a previous release, they have corrected here because, while they do use them, they use them sparingly except at the beginning of "Liquid Shadows" and "Highland Glory" where they fit perfectly.
This is one of my favourite albums of 2005 so far (admittedly because it sounds so much "80s" ;)). I love it when old timers come back out to show the kids how it's done. Glad to see this Belgian powerhouse still got what it takes. Killer stuff. Pun intended.
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