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Killtek - Volition Award winner

by Kayla Hutton at 07 March 2019, 6:30 AM

Formed 2012, Norway's metalcore outfit KILLTEK has released their first full-length album "Volition" on February 7th, 2019. Not too shabby for an independent release. And do allow me to correct myself in the genre department, metalcore-ish. Only because it isn't straight technical, it's not death metal, and they are not industrial metal either. Yes, there are some electronics but they are very subtle. There are no samples from horror movies nor are there loads of lead synth parts. KILLTEK doesn't throw in any random break downs, the transitions follow suit to modern day metal. Of course, the guitars are de-tuned and at times the vocalist could be compared to Randy Blythe (LAMB OF GOD).  If you read other reviews that mention a FEAR FACTORY comparison, I apologize for the inaccurate information and if that is what you are expecting, you'll be a little pissed.

"Volition" however is a very strong album. When compared to their prior E.P.'s the band has matured immensely and their songs have a definitive direction. The first 3 tracks were placed in perfect order.  Starting with "1's & O's". The familiarity of the guitar riffs having an old school thrash like influence similar to NUCLEAR ASSAULT or EXODUS combined with modern groove and served with a side of metalcore heaviness. "Deafening" keeps the momentum and satisfies the "now I'm pumped and want more" mentality. Followed by "Flip a Coin" that eases you out of your familiarity comfort zone by adding in extra elements that offer "outside of the box" diversity noticeable in the drum work and transitions.

Then "I am Chaos" happens. Everything was rolling pretty good. The right implementation of electronics, a little more power in the melodic department, and then around the minute mark a clean vocal part comes in that while it was kept short, just killed it for me. A poor attempt at a Mike Patton (FAITH NO MORE) style taken in an almost emocore direction minus the high pitch whining. The song does redeem itself as it transitions into some crushing palm muted chops perfectly in line with a typical, but always appreciated, stomping and bashing that demands pit walkers to take larger slower bounds while the surrounding audience engages in a rhythmic unison bounce.

"Future Citizen" is electronically driven sustained dirty electronic notes swirl in by means of a phase effect that kind of drone on before a pitch-shifted voice sample depicts the disciplining of an 18-month-old baby having to learn what "no" means and then compares the situation if handled by an 18-year-old, full of testosterone, arrogance, anger and not taking no for answer. I get it, but it seems kind of as if they made a monster out of nothing more than age. No real story or reasoning. Just depicting violence to show that they are hardcore, dark, scary or what have you. Has potential had it been longer and say followed the baby through the timeline of life and including instances that would provoke such violence. The tracks that follow then return to the forceful metal attack and aren't redundantly mirrored but they do follow a themed structure that is enjoyable for this genre.

"Flip a coin Pt. 2" is the WTF ending to "Volition". A by no means industrial or even club style remix of electronics. More like a cruise through the ghetto in my 80's Monte Carlo showing off the suspension hydraulics and blue undercarriage lights. 808's dropping, hi-pitched vintage modular synth sounds, hi-hat emphasized rhythm patterns accompanied by the acapella vocal stem thrown on top. That all does dissipate after a while and ends on a metal note. Kept me on my toes as I wasn't expecting it, so I give them props for that. KILLTEK is pushing pretty hard and are right up there with similar bands that have been doing this longer. It's nothing you haven't heard before, but they do serve it a little differently and definitely will hold your attention. The production value is superb and being independent I am sure they had to pay quite a bit for it, but it paid off. It's very worth a listen and it will only take one go round to win you over, keep you locked in, and the positive makes the little bumps in the road easily forgotten or willing to allow it to grow on you.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1.1's & 0's
3.Flip a Coin
4.I Am Chaos
6.Future Citizen
10.War Within
11.Flip a Coin Pt.II
Erik Winther - Guitar
Tommy Kviseth - Bass
Vegard Lillesand - Drums
Peter Bains - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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