Kill Devil Hill – Revolution Rise
Century Media Records – 2013
I’ve got a ton of stuff to review (especially music). It’s almost like the huge line of jet airplanes waiting to take off from JFK Airport in New York. Sometimes it takes a while to get to something but I couldn’t resist not reviewing this CD any longer.
As soon as I heard the first five seconds of “No Way Out”, I actually said out loud, “Yeah.” This album works on every level from the get-go. The first track is a catchy tune that would make you feel certain that Zakk Wylde was playing guitar. The riffs and soloing have a similar feel and skill set as the BLS overlord but it’s actually done by acclaimed session/touring guitarist Mark Zavon.
While listening to the moody-rich lead vocals of “Crown of Thorns”, I couldn’t help but think of the late Layne Staley crawled out of the grave. But the voice is ex-Pissing Razors front man Dewey Bragg. This guy’s got the voice to put this band a head of the pack.
The musical feel, including vocals of “Leave It All Behind” reminds me of Lynch Mob at their best. Bluesy heavy riffs with standout vocals are the reason for the comparison. The other thing that is noticeable is the ironclad foundation laid down by former Pantera bassist Rex (“Rocker”) Brown and Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell). This band is just friggin’ tight.
Zavon’s guitar lick in “Why” hooked me right away. Dewey Bragg releases his Alice in Chains-like voice in the fourth song. Zavon’s guitar distortion sounds like Zakk’s did on the Ozzy album No Rest for the Wicked. The little feedback and squeals are cool over Brown’s bass and Appice’s heavy hitting drums.
The band taps into their dark side for “Wake Up the Dead.” It’s kind of a Sabbathy tune with the bass, drums and guitar sludging through thick riffs and slower musical beats.
“Long Way From Home” is pensive with dark melodic twinges and an awesome chorus. The musical pattern that Brown, Zavon and Appice keep is really helpful in supporting the vocals.
The instrumentation of “Where Angels Dare to Roam” is energized with Zavon’s hard-charging guitar and the bottom end. Bragg sings the song with just the right amount of range, vocal inflection and power.
Appice pounds a nifty beat in ‘Stained Glass Sadness”, while Bragg vocalizes it in a way that you can’t help but think of Alice in Chains. I love when the other instruments drop out of the mix to leave Rex Brown alone to play his wicked distorted bass.
Zavon makes the most of his brief solo in “Endless Static.” I love the way the song goes out with Vinny Appice’s constant drum beat.
Dewey Bragg sings “Stealing Days” in a way that reminds me a lot of Robert Mason’s work in Lynch Mob. Appice establishes another pocket groove. It’s just amazing how the drummer is able to make this happen so easily within songs. Zavon goes off on guitar during the lead break.
“Life Goes On” has the band playing to their brand of melodic metal until the music drops out about four-minute and forty-second mark. After some moments of silence (you might think the song is over) the band carries the song in a celestial manner the rest of the way.
Revolution Rise clicks on all cylinders. It’s a grooving, rocking release that shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering e the talent involved.