Thursday, May 19, 2016

Killer Khan-Global Killer


Killer Khan is one band that should need no introduction. That is if you consider yourself to be any kind true metalhead! I mean after all this is the same incredible group that gave us the album "Kill Devil Hills"!! Our longtime readers might recall that I first covered this classic metal release in a Forgotten Gems feature back in 2012. Originally independently-released way back in 1999, "Kill Devil Hills" proved itself worthy of high praise and worship thanks to it's slick combination of eighties metal, hard rock and doom. With the Ozzy-like vocals of lead singer/guitarist Killian Khan merely serving as the sweet and delicious icing on top of one hell of a flavorful cake(!), "Kill Devil Hills" became a hidden gem for everyone who came across it and naturally that includes me. "Kill Devil Hills" has become a mainstay in my home and to this day I still enjoy it for what it represents. And that is real heavy metal for real heavy metal fans! When it comes to this criminally-underrated band from Mooresville, North Carolina we're talking about everything that there is to love about tried and true heavy metal wrapped up into one neat and tidy package. It's all there from superb performances to catchy material and whether you recognized it or not this four-piece has always been right there in the front genre since first coming together as Holy Moses back in 1994! Eventually that band evolved into Killer Khan and then Killer Khan gave us "Kill Devil Hills". And because of how solid that album actually was it would only be a matter of time before some label would come along and see fit to properly re-issue it. Put out in mid-April of of 2015 by Heaven and Hell Records, "Kill Devil Hills" went from being a hidden gem to an album that was finally in the spotlight (and rightfully so as this was a place where it had always belonged!). Thanks to it's remastered sound and the inclusion of two additional bonus tracks in "Abomination" and "Iceman (Part II)" the re-issue of Killer Khan's debut album hit the scene like a ton of bricks. Along the way it also managed to pull off the impossible. Somehow the Heaven and Hell Records version of "Kill Devil Hills" improved upon perfection! The new and improved album was everything that longtime fans of Killer Khan could have hoped!! Not only did it sound great, but it looked great too! As far as Killer Khan fans were concerned everything was right with the world and just how it should be. Killer Khan was finally getting the proper recognition that it deserved and everyone would see this group's back catalog for. And that is an amazing collection of material that is simply not to be missed! But then came the news that Killer Khan was back and working on a new album. And suddenly I found myself laying there in bed with a burning question all but eating me up inside. "How in the world can anyone expect Killer Khan to top that great re-issue?" I asked myself. "Had they painted themselves into a corner?" I wondered. These questions and so many more keep creeping up on it. Would "Global Killer" prove to be a comeback album for this North Carolina four-piece or was the magic all used up by now? To be honest I thought the worse. Even after "Global Killer" dropped I wasn't ready to try it out. Honestly I waited a good while until I check out. Thankfully all it took was one listen to opener to "Prowess of the Night" and I had my answer. Killer Khan was back! And not only were they back, but they were back with a fiery vengeance!! On the fittingly-named "Global Killer" the guys in Killer Khan meant business!! There would be hell to pay for all those who had forgotten their name. For band-mates Killian Khan (vocals, guitar), Ron Dalton (guitar), Brice Sandahl (bass), and Jody Rumple (drums) this new disc would prove to be a lightening bolt straight into the faces of the unbelievers! What "Global Killer" represents is simple enough even if you can't put it in exact terms that are easy to understand. This album is another great mixture of all the things that make Killer Khan the unreal act that they are. It's eighties metal. It's hard rock/heavy metal. And it's doom. "Global Killer" is Killer Khan doing what they do best and that wonderful concept keeps everything flowing along nicely until the very end of "Playful Dead". On their third full-length Killer Khan cranks out highly memorable metal that is once more perfectly-flavored by those great vocals of Killian Khan. I once wrote how much Killian Khan reminded me of Ozzy (or at the very least his illegitimate offspring!) and while I still stand by that concept there is a brief side note to add. Here on "Global Killer" Killian Khan sounds more mature. Like many of us he has added a few more miles on his voice with the passage of time. Obviously he isn't the same front-man as he was on "Kill Devil Hills", but trust me here when I say that's good. The maturity in his voice actually works towards the overall appeal of this new album as it gives everything a more natural and real vibe. It's as if the front-man isn't afraid to admit that not only has he grown as a musician, but as a person. And while he might be older he has way more experience under his belt. In the end it just gives the material on "Global Killer" a more realistic feeling. In that regard credit must also be given to the album's overall production. Thankfully Killer Khan's new album isn't over-produced. "Global Killer" feels like a metal disc should. It's tuneful in just the right places while it is also open enough so that raw appeal of heavy metal is able to come through nice and loud. Each and every part of this new album works. In a day and age when heavy metals albums can sound way too glossy I cannot even begin to tell you how nice that is! Not once does "Global Killer" shy away from the fact that it is there to deliver an ass kicking. It doesn't let up on sonic assault or pull away from the raw metallic energy that fuels it. Instead "Global Killer" is as rebellious and destructive as it wants to be. Whether you are a fan of this great group or not that is something to celebrate. Needless to say I love this album and highly-recommend it.....

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