I believe that most music fans have musicians that they follow, regardless of what bands he or she may play in. For me, one of those guys is drummer extraordinaire Vinnie Appice. Known to most metal fans for his long tenure with both Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell and Dio, Appice’s thunderous style has also graced recordings with Mark Boals, WWIII and, going way back, Rick Derringer (!). It follows then, that I was mightily intrigued when I heard he was forming a new band with Pantera’s Rex Brown, one of Blackie’s ex-W.A.S.P. guitarists, and a relatively unknown vocalist called “Dewey” (ex-Pissing Razors). With such disparate musical elements, I had no idea what to expect, and certainly not what I got.
See, if I had to put one of those journalistic classifications around KILL DEVIL HILL, I’d say that it’s a combination of Black Sabbath’s slow doom and Alice In Chains’ druggy rock – I’m not the only one saying it either. Most of the album moves at a snail’s pace, with only a select few songs kicking up the pace beyond a crawl (specifically “War Machine”, “Old Man”, and the album’s best song, “Strange”). All of the songs have their catchy moments, but with so little variation in the music, some of them tend to run together in a doomy drone. It’s too bad that several of the riffs don’t stand out, as there are some genuinely good ones sprinkled throughout the album.
This is definitely an intriguing, if flawed debut, and I hope the band sticks it out long enough to put out another one (it looks promising – they’re currently touring).
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