Killer- Vol 2: Only The Strong survive (box-set review)

Spread the metal:

KillerDecember 2019
Released: 2019 / Cherry Red / HNE Recordings
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Like an unstoppable juggernaut, the British label Cherry Red/HNE keeps their reissues campaign in high gear with a second box-set of the Belgian bashers, Killer.

I reviewed the first Killer box-set (Vol 1:The Mausoleum Years) back in April of 2019 and here we are in December with Volume II-ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE.  In that first review I had hoped fro a Vol II and it has arrived!  The circle is complete!

Housed in the now familiar clam-shell case this four disc set nicely compliments Volume I.  Essentially we get reissues of the bands post 1990 output, specifically, the albums BROKEN SILENCE (2003), IMMORTAL (2005), and the more recent comeback record MONSTERS OF ROCK (2015).  Lastly, and perhaps most valuable is the 1988 VAN CAMP ‘solo’ album from when Killer broke up the first time around.  There is a bit more dare I say it, ‘depth’ with many of the songs on this record stretching out into the six, seven even nine minute mark, as well as the cool Beethoven cover/mash-up, ‘Nine to Five’. Get it?

The discs are presented in wallets and this time we get a big fold-out poster, instead of a booklet.  I actually prefer the booklet myself, the poster style gets a bit unwieldy. There the liner notes and a whole pile of photos and a brief essay by rock historian Malcolm Dome.  I mean, who else is going to write with any authority about Killer? The essay is punctuated with various quotes from the band and it gives you an idea of the headspace of the band of survivors about the addition of keyboards and so on. You can certainly track the evolution of the band on these records as they, some might say struggle, to find a sound post-2000 in a white-hot and aggressive Metal market where Death and Black Metal reign supreme and bands like Killer seem slightly dated and rely on a diminishing nostalgia market.

Perhaps a little disappointing is the lack of bonus material.  Vol I had lots of rare and unreleased bonus stuff, this one has nothing. If you are a true fan of Killer and own the albums, there is not much to entice the buyer, however if you missed any of these albums it is a great collection. Fans of classic Metal and NWOBHM styles will do well to obtain a copy.


TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE: CD

BROKEN SILENCE (2003)

1. BROKEN SILENCE
2. CRASH AND BURN
3. TIME MACHINE
4. DANCING WITH THE DEVIL
5. IN THE LAND OF THE PHARAOH
6. HIGH IN THE MOUNTAINS
7. THE ANSWER
8. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE
9. HEAR MY CALLING
10. A MATTER OF TIME
11. THE RUN OF THE CHUPACABRA (INSTRUMENTAL)
PART 1 (EXPLORING THE
STRATOSPHERE)
PART 2 (THE ESCAPE)
12. LETHAL VIRUS

DISC TWO: CD

IMMORTAL (2005)

1. IMMORTAL
2. FROZEN FIRE – BURNING ICE
3. STONE COLD
4. THE MIRROR
5. QUEEN OF THE FUTURE
6. HIGHLAND GLORY
7. TOUCH OF EVIL
8. DRIFTING AWAY
9. EASY RIDER
10. ALWAYS AND FOREVER
11. LIQUID SHADOWS
12. AD TEMPUS VITAE

DISC THREE: CD

MONSTERS OF ROCK (2015)

1. MONSTERS OF ROCK
2. EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
3. SHOTGUN SYMPHONY
4. BACK TO THE ROOTS
5. NO WAY OUT
6. DANGER ZONE
7. FIRESTORM
8. DEAF, BLIND AND DUMB
9. FOREVER METAL
10. CHILDREN OF DESPERATION
11. HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH
12. MAKING MAGIC
13. THE REACTOR
14. ROCK CITY
15. FAKE

DISC FOUR: CD

TOO WILD TO TAME (1988)

VAN CAMP
1. OUVERTURE
2. THE CALL OF NATURE
3. ALONE IN THE NIGHT
4. CRAZY CIRCUS
5. FROM NINE TO FIVE
6. STRIDERS OF THE LEATHER BRIGADE
7. CHINESE WOMAN
8. TOO WILD TO TAME


www.cherryred.co.uk/product/killer-volume-two-only-the-strong-survive-1988-2015-4cd-boxset/

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