Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jessikill-Metal Knights


Released back in late February, "Metal Knights" is the outstanding debut EP from up-and-coming U.S. traditional/power metal act Jessikill. This multi-award winning* 5-piece band (which has shared the stage with everyone from Faster Pussycat to Overkill!) is based in San Antonio, Texas and lead by one-time Hëssler front-woman (and all-around powerhouse vocalist!) Jessica Marie Espinoza. This amazing lead singer is at her all-time best on the aptly-titled "Metal Knights" and as she works her way through a killer (if sadly all too short) set of catchy METAL songs she is joined by a group of well-rounded and equally-skilled musicians. That would be lead guitarist Joey Villalobos, lead guitarist/keyboardist Jyro Alejo, bassist/vocalist Arturo Alvarado, and drummer Alan Cisneros. With all of the members of Jessikill working together as one concrete and complete unit  you end up with a remarkable piece of studio work that will stick around in your head long after it runs it's course! This slick-sounding EP starts off strong thanks to the Iron Maiden-infused "March of the Knight". At a little over a minute this great instrumental drops you right into the heart of the battle and from that point forward it's onward and upward until the closing moments of hard & heavy rocker, "Don't Let Go". As for the other four metallic songs of this well-crafted EP? Well, you really need to hear them all together in order to fully appreciate the magical quality of this killer set of songs. Without spoiling it for anyone I will say this. It's not just Iron Maiden that has influenced this Texas heavy metal band (or for that matter Jessica's old band Hëssler**!). There are actually a lot of influences at play here on "Metal Knights". From hard rock and traditional heavy metal to European-style power metal and even light thrash it's all here on "Metal Knights" and it all blends together to make this six-song EP that much more fun and exciting! All of which means you can't pigeonhole the overall sound of the Jessikill. And that's a really good thing....

*Jessikill was awarded the "Best Metal Band", "Top Local Band of The Year" and "Best Female Performer" at the 2016 SANA Awards. For the past four years in a row the band has also been chosen by the city of San Antonio to headline New Years Eve at the Arneson River Theatre!

**The EP's closing number, "Don't Let Go", sounds a lot like Hëssler.

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