Kaine – Justice Injustice
Location: East Anglia, UK
Label: Revival Metal Records
With a riffage that immediately brings to mind their compatriots in Iron Maiden, Kaine bring forward the first single of their upcoming third studio album. It’s a tiny record, packing only one song (no outtakes, b-sides or anything) and, sadly, not a lot to talk about.
Despite the mental images of NWOBHM that are awaken by the song, there is very little to take away from this record other than the desire to listen to some of those other bands. Singer Rage Adler appears ill-suited to front a band that seems so desperate to pay homage to the 80’s British metal scene. His voice is much more appropriate for a thrash setting (it could work fairly well in a Kreator tribute band) than accompanying this type of songs.
While the music packs a punch (the intro is pretty decent, even if it sounds like generic_heavy_intro.mp3) it’s not at all interesting. The songwriting is monotonous and unimpressive, with some completely random changes in guitar distortion that really confuse you as you listen to it. The chorus is repeated over and over again (“justice injustice, justice injustice, justice injustice”), so much so that by the end you’ll be praying to have it leave your head.
Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I
Location: Seattle, USA
Label: Static Tension Recordings
Sticking to tradition is a quality that is highly revered in heavy metal, as it keeps the music from being sectioned off into one of many subgenres. Curse of The North believe in following tradition while putting a modern twist in their music, but the twist goes a bit further and tighter than they may have expected, making for a performance that is a bit more warped than they had anticipated.
The most immediate and striking comparisons in sound are to the likes of Danzig and Red Fang, with percussion that is bold and forward coupled with intentionally lower production values to produce a groovy fuzz. In the speed and tempo there are traces of doom as things move along at a lumbering pace, methodically building up walls of sound that are then toppled over by blistering guitar riffs and rolling, crashing drums. One of the key elements in the construction of the sonic monoliths are the vocals which come out as a long, drawn out, and melodic drone that emphasize the gravity of the sound.
Curse of The North isn’t all about crushing weight though, as they do pick up a faster, anxiety-inducing pace. At times it feels much like Opeth’s My Arms Your Hearse with its sinister atmosphere, but then cuts in a with a more upbeat 70’s feel. In theory, this could lead to a very confusing performance, but they pull it together with excellent playing and a clear level of thought towards the development and construction of their sound, all of which makes for a very cohesive album.
Curse of The North might attempt to stay true to the classics, but their own unique style is prevalent; this is a good thing, since the band has enough talent and guts to stand on their own two feet. I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future and, in the meantime, Curse of The North will be making its way into my rotation.