Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Killer Khan-Kill Devil Hills (2015 Re-issue)

Heaven and Hell Records

There are some reviews that just about write themselves and then there are other times where you find yourself struggling to even come up with a proper opening. There is no need to guess where this one sits in the grand scheme of things as it's now taken me well over an hour to even get this far! And that was after coming back to do this review for the third time!! I'm just not sure if I can come up with right choice of words to fully convey the importance of this album. Truth be told I've covered Killer Khan's full-length debut in the past. As you can see here it was once a part of my Forgotten Gems series and now I'm tasked with talking about this re-mastered and expanded re-issue. Honestly I feel as if everything I said back then (which was March 29th, 2012 to be exact) still rings true with the only real difference between then and now being a more-improved sound and the inclusion of two bonus tracks. Otherwise this is still one of the best damn (true) heavy metal albums that you can have in your personal collection. Let me say that again so that it's perfectly clear to everyone. As far as true blue this heavy metal gems go it does not get any better then this 1999 album! Originally self-released back in 1999, "Kill Devil Hills" was Killer Khan's full-length debut and thanks in no small part to this band's particular choice of influences it ended up being a timeless example of classic/traditional heavy metal at it's purest and most sincere form! But first a brief history lesson is in order. Formed in 1994 and initially known as Holy Moses (under which name the band issued two full-length albums-one in 1995 and the other one in 1996), Killer Khan was based in Moorsevile, North Carolina and lead by vocalist/guitarist Killian Khan. As mentioned "Kill Devil Hills" was the first album that this U.S. metal put out under the name of Killer Khan. Technically-speaking it's also the only album that "Killer Khan" issued in their brief existence as the follow-up album, 2001's "Rock 'N Roll Forever", was originally released in 1996 while the band was still known as "Holy Moses"! Confusing as that may be there should be no confusion as to the strength of this album!! Killer Khan's classic sound & style drew it's inspiration from the eighties U.S. metal scene of old as well as bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and (Ozzy-era) Black Sabbath. With a lead vocalist who could have easily slid his way into into a Ozzy Osbourne tribute band (see my previous review for more on this tidbit!) and a backing band that was well-regulated and fine-tuned to near perfection this traditional heavy metal band released one of those rare A+ recordings that every self-respecting metalhead should have already had in their collection! If you didn't have it before now then you absolutely must pick up this stone cold gem now that it has been re-mastered and expanded! Hell, even if you already have this album in collection I would still suggest buying this version as it has a much-improved sound and it tacks on two excellent bonus cuts in "Abomination" and "Aceman (Part II)"! Sure enough this is the same album that I fell in love with all those years back only this time around it's even better! "Kill Devil Hills" has definitely stood the test of time and thanks to Heaven and Hell Records it is getting a new lease on life! As this is a limited run though I would I act fast while it is still available. With only 500 copies it is sure to sell out and once it's gone it's gone! For fans of Killer Khan this is a must buy, but it also comes recommend to fans of eighties metal, N.W.O.B.H. and of course Black Sabbath! 

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