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KFFR – Diabolical Revolution Award winner

KFFR
Diabolical Revolution
by Max Elias at 06 December 2020, 6:06 PM

KFFR are a new entity from the Netherlands, revealing themselves to the world with Diabolical Revolution. The band must also have some Latin American influence in their membership, because the first two song titles are in either Spanish or Portuguese (as I know neither, I get confused between the two really easily), and “Revolución”, the intro, is a spoken prelude entirely in that language.

In terms of the music, what you get with KFFR is melodic power/thrash that tilts more towards thrash. The first song, “Ojos del Brujo”, sets up the THRASH METAL atmosphere with relentless rolling drumming and a lurching, brisk guitar riff. What follows is surprisingly, though very pleasantly, melodic; the vocals are not harsh (in the growling/screeching sense; Michel Hoogervorst is no Bruce Dickinson) but they have a definite bite to them, and the recurring tremolo-picked riff is unusually distinct and clear, the opposite of tremolo riffs found in most music (like BLACK METAL for example). “Witch Doctor” also shows the band’s ability to use this device melodically.

The band isn’t afraid to let it rip when the occasion calls for it; the solo on “Witch Doctor” is a stunning recall of the feats of guitar greats of the 80s like Adrian Smith or Gary Holt. The riffs seemed to get more active here as well, with particularly the verse riff standing out to me. The band gets more aggressive on “War Machine”; as if the introductory seconds of people screaming and running in terror weren’t an indication. The riffing and drum work are both more intense and possessed of a marching quality, and the vocals, though still clean, are less melodic (like a Joey Belladonna) and more percussive (like a James Hetfield). Yet despite the increased vigor and severity of “War Machine”, the lead break is the opposite; lots of bending and long spaced out notes create a brief respite from the madness.

The band has clearly put a lot of work into developing their songwriting and their chemistry as a unit, and it comes through on songs like “Master of Deceit”, where the end of each vocal line is accented by a little quick cymbal fill from the drums. “Master of Deceit” also presents the most varied song on the album; it is the lowest the vocals have so far gone, not quite to a growl but almost, and it features a midway lapse into a slower interlude, a la “Master of Puppets”. The riff during the break is not a pretty sequence of arpeggios, but a still-distorted, hair-raising melody that sounds a little like a less demonic SLAYER.

Continuing with the SLAYER comparisons, right before the solo on “Religion”, the vocalist shouts “Religion is your master/Religion is your mask” (and something else I couldn’t hear), and it reminded me of the chorus to “Cult” by SLAYER. Incidentally, the solo in question is excellent, both in terms of acrobatics and phrasing (which is how you know it’s not SLAYER). Another hard-hitting riff-fest.
The band aren’t out of surprising moments just because they’re at the end of the album; “High Priest of the Diabolical Revolution” both starts and, after a brief burst of energy, continues as a series of clean arpeggios through the first verse, when the other instruments join in with characteristic KFFR melodic riffing. Still, the song shifts between calmer verses and strident interludes, just like all power ballads. My favorite riff of the song comes in at about 4:17, and it’s the riff preceding the solo.

I loved this album from start to finish (granted, in my head it starts with “Ojos del Brujo” because that’s the first full song), and I think KFFR strike the best kind of balance between aggression and restraint, particularly when it comes to the vocals. I love vocalists who are technically clean singers but are venomous as hell regardless, and Jos van der Horst is definitely that. Especially for a first album, this is an impressive achievement and I urge anyone who likes any of the bands mentioned as comparisons or metal in general to listen.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Musicianship: 9
Production: 10


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Revolución
  2. Ojos del Brujo
  3. Witch Doctor
  4. War Machine
  5. Master of Deceit
  6. Religion
  7. High Priest of the Diabolical Revolution
Lineup:
Pedro Chile – Guitars
Jos van der Horst – Drums
Michel Hoogervorst – Vocals
Bas Rijpkema – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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