Kill Devil Hill - Revolution Rise (Bullet Proof AU)

Pleasant but inessential...
Release Date: 
5 Dec 2013 - 11:30pm

When is a supergroup not a supergroup? It’s a question that needs to be asked in an age where record labels, ever more desperate to part us from our cash before we spend it on one of the other ‘entertainment options’ available to us in the comfort of our own lounge rooms, seem more and more reliant on combinations of ‘big names’ (see: Winery Dogs, anything involving Glenn Hughes etc etc) to shift units for them rather than delivering exciting new talent to our ears,  American outfit Kill Devil Hill have been labelled such a troupe, and were last seen around these parts last year touting a debut album that promised much without delivering the truly knockout blow you might expect from a band containing the likes of former Black Sabbath drummer Vinnie Appice and bassist of Pantera and Down Rex Brown.

Still, they obviously made enough friends to get another bite at the cherry, so here we are for round 2 and Revolution Rise. Not that there’s anything vaguely revolutionary about the album, as the two well known band members and their up n’coming cohorts (that’s Mark Zavon (guitars) and vocaliser Dewey Bragg, as you’ll doubtless remember) trundle around your listening space creating a grungy, doomy form of metal that probably reached its peak commercially in around 1996 when bands like Floodgate were trying to exploit the gap in the market for depressive doomy metal opened up by Pantera in their post Far Beyond Driven guise; Actually Floodgate aren’t too bad a point of reference here, as Bragg’s lugubrious howl often brings to mind ‘gate throatsmith Kyle Thomas throughout the album, which generally reprises the tracks on the band’s first album without the earworm accessibility that made some of the material featured there so compelling.

It’s all consummately performed, of course, with Zavon in particular producing some sumptuous playing (his work on the album’s best track, Where Angels Dare to Roam, is especially exciting), but that track apart it lacks any sort of spark or individuality; Whereas tracks on the first album such as Voodoo Doll screamed out and demanded the listener's attention, everything really just drifts by on Revolution Rise to such an extent that you’ll find yourself repeatedly checking which track you’re listening to, such is their homogeneity. 

Like I said, it’s well performed and there are no demonstrably awful tracks on offer - indeed if you’re a Pissing Razors completest you’ll probably be reading this on your mobile as you queue outside your local record n’tape emporium waiting to buy the bugger, However the band seems to have gone backwards from it's debut rather than progressing, which is sad to report and doesn't bode well for future releases unless things arew shaken up a bit. Disappointing.