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Kill All The Gentlemen – Black Canvas

Kill All The Gentlemen
Black Canvas
by Savely Nevzorov at 16 May 2022, 3:54 PM

“Black Canvas” is the second album by the UK-based KILL ALL THE GENTLEMEN. Released via Sliptrick Records, their new album is a blast of modern death metal, which remains true to its roots while occasionally daring to experiment when it seems fit. All the elements of a good Melodic Death Metal record are present. High-speed melodic passages are combined with booming breakdowns, hasty blasts, and d-beats, as well as interesting and technical guitar solos. But does this record go beyond the well-established pathway? Let’s find out!

The desire to enrich the familiar sound is commendable, but one gets the feeling that sometimes KILL ALL THE GENTLEMEN may appear hesitant to deviate from the golden formula once created by mastodonts of the genre in the past. In moments of creative inspiration, they sound original and fresh. Nevertheless, such moments are mostly occasional, and for most of the record’s playtime, the band prefers to grand us with familiar "classic" melodic development instead of aiming to explore their sound further. However, this moment should not be taken as something unambiguously negative. Fans of the genre will notice that the adherence to certain clichés is more than offset by outstanding technical performance, as well as brilliant sound solutions. Some monotony present on the record is compensated by the occasional inclusion of unexpected elements, such as the sudden appearance of female vocals on "Eyes of Medusa" or the atmospheric acoustic breaks on the tracks like "Death Black" and "Giving Gets You Nothing". Such additions add an interesting touch to selected compositions, generally making the record more enjoyable.

“Black Canvas” is a fine example of contemporary Modern Death Metal that hits all the right spots, yet at times offers even more than just another MDM-record experience. It is where KILL ALL THE GENTLEMEN struggles to support such interesting additions with the consistency of implementation. The band aims to assemble something new and unique from the details that were out there for quite a long time and most times it succeeds to come up with rather valuable additions. At the same time, it is rather difficult to single out an element that the band could call "their own". This is important because such elements affect the potential memorability of songs, making them stand out among their competitors. For most of my time spent with “Black Canvas”, I had the feeling that "this riff I heard in that CHILDREN OF BODOM song" or "the same breakdown I heard in some KILLSWITCH ENGAGE song". Nevertheless, I wish the band will establish their own identity on their next record and I think that they’re up for the task, as this album lays an excellent start for further development and creative search.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Change Is the Only Constant
2. Claw Marks
3. Eyes For Medusa
4. Snakes
5. The Ground Beneath The Weeds
6. Giving Gets You Nothing
7. Doomsayer
8. It’s A Sin
9. Death Black
Adam Martin – Vocals/Guitar
Ben Andrew – Bass/Backing Vocals
Mikey Precious – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Thomas Arne Rørstad – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 07 July 2022

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