Sunday, September 14, 2014

KILMARA: "Love Songs & Other Nightmares"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Sony Music Entertainment 2014
Review by Rich "The Meister" Dillon

Kilmara are a heavy metal band born in Barcelona, Spain in 2003 under the moniker Jadde.  The addition of German vocalist Christian Wolfgang Kohl (Wolf) brought an evolution of the band but they continued to write Spanish lyrics.  After a couple of demo recordings mostly in Spanish but some experimentation with English lyrics they decided on using English lyrics in the hopes of opening up to a wider market.  In 2007 Kilmara issued their debut full length, Hunting Dreams, with English lyrics.  2010's Don't Fear the Wolf was recorded in Slovakia at Grapow studios and helmed by Roland Grapow (Masterplan/Helloween).  Now, earlier in 2014 they have unleashed their third effort, Love Songs & Other Nightmares again under the direction of Roland Grapow.  The album cover artwork was created by Canadian artist Jessica Allain who is known for her digital photo manipulation work.

For many a man a love song is a pure nightmare but not to worry Kilmara leads the album with "Fantasy", a fast paced metal treat.  Combining elements of power metal, the NWOBHM movement along side melodic vocals with periodic guttural growls makes it difficult to put a specific label on the sound of Kilmara, but I like it!  The opening riffs of 'Devil's Eye' really get their hooks into the listener and the song contains lots of delicious guitar work to enhance not out-do the composition.  The lone song under the four minute mark (four of the twelve are even over six minutes) and only short by a second at that, 'The Break Up' is the lead single and a great representation of what's contained on Love Songs & Other Nightmares.  The six minutes of "Cold Rain" are some of the best on the release and even the slower paced 'Believe' is meaty enough to keep your interest.  The second half of the album plays much like the first creating a release that basically doesn't let up from start to finish.

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