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Kill Devil Hill: Revolution Rise

One of the more surprising coming togethers of 2012, Kill Devil Hill released a self titled debut which quite rightly found the four piece of bassist Rex Brown (Pantera), drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio/Heaven & Hell), singer Jason "Dewey" Bragg (Pissing Razors) and guitarist Mark Zavon (Ratt/W.A.S.P.) combining their own previous sounds to good effect. A tour with Adrenalin Mob was an inspired pairing for the band and just to prove that this act is for real, here we have in quick succession album number two, Revolution Rise.

The first offering from KDH joined the heaviness of Pantera to a more refined touch of Dio era Sabbath, while also finding the voice of Bragg adding an Alice In Chains style, as the rifferama from Zavon reminded of George Lynch at his heaviest. In the wrong hands, a messy mix, but Kill Devil Hill made it work quite superbly, even if you did need to stick with things a little to get the best from it. However having tightened their outlook and honed their ethos through stage time, KDH return with an album brimming with top notch Metal which comfortably sits somewhere between Classic, Heavy and Grunge, to be at ease simply ignoring genre tags and rocking damn hard, with a smoothness that belies the brutality.

Bragg still has a Layne Stayley vibe going down, but the sheer weight and depth of the riffs Zavon cooks up veer things more into Iommi territory than that of Alice In Chains, while Appice and Brown bring the rhythmical power and prowess you'd expect from such a mighty pairing. The duo creating a vibe which is thick and heavy, without actually being as uncompromising as you might expect.

"Wake Up The Dead" lumbers like classic Sabbath with the late great RJD at the helm, while "No Way Out" screams an altogether more energetic tune right from the off, a spiralling piece of guitar work being backed by a guest solo from Zakk Wylde (Ozzy/Black Label Society). The latter really sets the tone for this album, rolling along briskly, yet still with a smack of power and an ability to create heavy melody. "Crown Of Thorns" however places itself between the two, Brown's bass growling with authority, Appice driving the song on, while Zavon rips it out and Bragg keeps it cool. And that really is one of the main strengths here, with a feeling that Kill Devil Hill really don't have to stretch themselves to sound this good. Instead the impression is of a band simply laying down what makes them tick and hitting the bull's eye as they do so.

Super group get togethers are usually, casual fleeting things. However Kill Devil Hill feel and sound like a band. Long may that continue, especially if the results are as good as what we hear on Revolution Rise.


Track Listing
1. No Way Out
2. Crown Of Thorns
3. Leave It All Behind
4. Why?
5. Wake Up The Dead
6. Long Way From Home
7. Where Angels Dare To Roam
8. Stained Glass Sadness
9. Endless Static
10. Stealing Days
11. Life Goes On

Added: December 4th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Kill Devil Hill Music
Hits: 1225
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Kill Devil Hill: Revolution Rise
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-12-04 18:49:17
My Score:

For their sophomore effort Revolution Rise, heavy metal super group Kill Devil Kill have come up with an enjoyable set of accessible songs that occasionally dip into their heritage (Down, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, WASP) but more often than not echoes some of the more modern metal & alternative rock styles. Rex Brown and Vinny Appice of course provide the heavy 'thump' here, and do a fine job as one would imagine, while vocalist Jason Bragg and guitarist Mark Zavon actually step into the spotlight and provide most of the entertainment. Ex-Pissing Razors belter Bragg is a strong singer, adding a melancholy, almost Layne Stayley-ish effect on some of these songs, especially the Alice in Chains meets Black Sabbath vibe of "Wake Up the Dead", with Zavon's crushing Iommi inspired riffs meeting him every step of the way. "Where Angels Dare to Roam" and "Why?" both contain plenty of groove and churning riffs, while "Life Goes On" seems straight out of the Seattle scene circa 1995. There lies, for me anyway, part of the problem with Revolution Rise. Too many of these songs seem to dip into the grunge scene all too often for my taste, and though Alice in Chains & Soundgarden were always the best bands that came out of Seattle back when the wave first hit (sorry Nirvana), here in 2013 it's a style that's long since moved on. Now, to be fair, Kill Devil Hill have managed to create some pretty memorable songs here, and a few are pretty damn heavy, but if I wanted to hear an Alice in Chains retread I'd just go ahead and listen to Alice in Chains, which, to be honest, is not something I often do. With the utmost respect to Vinny & Rex, I'll give this album some props, but man this band could be so much better, and different for that matter.



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