Demolition - Kill zone 4/5

Reviewed: 10-1-11





Tracklist:

1. Maniac
2. Strike you down
3. Sweet revenge
4. Means of control
5. Deadly trail
6. The fool parade
7. Rip it up
8. The torture
9. Digital god
10. Kill zone


Back in 2007, Australian power thrashers Demolition caught my ear with an impressive 5-track EP entitled ‘Strike force’. Sounding like a twisted (into form?) hybrid of Annihilator and Iced Earth, ‘Strike force’ was a most impressive beginning, all the more so because it was almost entirely the work of a single person. Rick Linguroski performed all the instruments and vocals on that EP, save for a single guitar solo on an instrumental track (doesn’t sound like anyone actually played the drums, though – “programmed” is more like it), and also produced and engineered the recording. Fast forward to 2011, and Demolition have finally released a proper debut CD, ‘Kill zone’, through Australia’s Rock Star Records. Once again, Linguroski’s hand appears to be firmly on the tiller, as he wrote most of the songs, performed all the lead vocals, rhythm guitars, and bass, and produced the CD. However, by all appearances, Demolition are now a proper band, with 3 other named, credited and photographed musicians on board. Those folks at least contributed drums, some lead guitars, and songwriting assistance to a few tracks.

Musically, ‘Kill zone’ picks up right where ‘Strike force’ left off, a fact driven home by inclusion of new versions of a pair of the strongest EP tracks (“Strike you down” and “The torture”) on ‘Kill zone’. Honestly, the most striking differences between the 2 CDs are that ‘Kill zone’ features a much heavier, bludgeoning production job and the vocals are somewhat raspier on the new CD. Demolition draws significant inspiration from Annihilator, judging by the similarities in riffing style and melodic sensibility between the bands. Hell, Linguroski’s voice even bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Jeff Waters, not just in tone but also in cadence and phrasing. Songs like “Means of control”, “Rip it up” and “Kill zone” could well be among the greatest Annihilator songs that Waters did not pen, all swirling speed and euphoric energy wrapped in an undeniable catchiness. The sticker on the front of the jewel case also recommends this CD to fans of Testament, Iced Earth and Megadeth. All of these comparisons are valid. Certainly, Demolition play more of a U.S. style of thrash and there are moments where the Testament/Megadeth influences shine through, both in songwriting and in lead breaks (check out the intro to “The torture” or the unexpectedly melodic section in “The fool parade”). As for Iced Earth, think of some of Schaffer’s fastest/heaviest cuts (“Violate”, “Disciples of the lie”) and you’ll have a good indication where Demolition come down on tracks like “The torture”. I also hear a number of riffs that call to mind classic Slayer.

To pigeonhole it into a narrow stylistic box, ‘Kill zone’ is squarely in the realm of power/thrash, not retro thrash. Demolition are going in for the kill here, and this CD is all about speed and aggression, so the thrash/speed metal mavens should love this, yet they’ve retained enough melody in the guitars to attract the powerheads too. Is it good? Let’s put it this way: If ‘Kill zone’ were released under the Annihilator name, it would rank in the top 3 or so CDs in that veteran band’s long (and mostly distinguished) discography. Oh, sure, it may be too unrelentingly in-your-face and one-dimensional for some power metal fans, and it eschews that 80s feel that’s all the rage with the rethrashers. But for a 43-minute exercise in non-stop pummeling, jackbooted power/thrash metal, ‘Kill zone’ delivers bigtime. Another selling point: Unlike so many Annihilator CDs that lose the plot and tend to meander pointlessly into AC/DC or Pantera territory (for example), Demolition have a “take-no-prisoners, take-no-shit” laser-beam precision aim on the prize. ‘Kill zone’ is a remarkably consistent CD chock-full of killer songs and great performances. An unqualified thumbs up for fans of the genre.



KIT




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