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Classic Review: Slauter Xstroyes - Winter Kill
Slauter Xstroyes
Winter Kill

Label: Independent
Year released: 1985
Duration: 37:06
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 24, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Winter Kill

Rated 3.76/5 (75.14%) (37 Votes)

Upon first listen, one would think that Slauter Xstroyes' Winter Kill was released by some British band in the late 70s, not in 1985 by an American band. Very 70-ish sound - a little on the Hard Rock side with a rough edge, not particularly polished, and gimmick-free. Yep, this might just as well have been some NWOBHM release from the late 70s. This has a progressive style to it - not the kind of wankering we're used to nowadays - which mixed with some rough, garage-like bare-bones Heavy Metal makes this album a rather diversified and very catchy affair. It's not particularly heavy by today’s standards, but you do get your dose of distortion and solos - again "70s style", a style which you really have to like to enjoy this album - it really doesn't sound like the typical 80s metal release. This is mostly mid-paced and "rocking", the type of metal you "ride on" rather than "slaughter with" (yeah, that kind of clashes with their name, I guess.) A few acoustic parts are thrown in during the calmer, rock-ballad moments - see "No Idea" where the band mixes both for a very pleasant and soothing result, tip-toeing between calming and depressing.

The vocalist may not be the best I've heard, but his voice is catchy, even when it sounds a little shaky on the side (which is more "charming" than annoying). Very clean style, sometimes using a King Diamond-ish high pitched voice - he doesn't sound like K.D., but the "maneuver" is remotely similar. His regular vocals remind me a lot of J.D. Kimball (Omen) - they just stick in your head long and haunt you all day long (also thanks to some damned catchy vocal melodies, of course.)

Winter Kill is a good little piece of progressive-tinged, hard rock-ish Heavy Metal that in terms of sound throws you back 30 years into the past - before its release even. :) Too bad these guys waited 10 years for their next release (which I have yet to hear) and then disappeared. They're apparently active again, but only time will tell if they'll release something else and whether it'll be nearly as good as this.

Other related information on the site
Review: Winter Kill (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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