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The KillerHertz - Innocent Sinners Award winner

The KillerHertz
Innocent Sinners
by Mark Machlay at 11 August 2020, 4:26 AM

THE KILLERHERTZ may call themselves a hard rock band, but they have a sound and sonic presence that definitely bumps them into the heavy metal world. These Danes come from a little town called Kastrup near Copenhagen and I am eternally sad that I had never heard of them before – a fact I promptly remedied that over this past week and absorbed their entire catalog. Formed in early 2011 by childhood friends Thomas Trold on vocals and guitar and Kent KillerHertz on drums, I have no doubt they formed a bond not entirely dissimilar to the relationship between METALLICA head honchos James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich – a band they site as a major influence. There seems to have been a lineup change between their 2014 debut “Killer Anthem” and 2018s sophomore effort “A Mirrors Portrait” but lead guitarist Jonas Roxx and bassist Jakob Nielsen continue to round out their lineup to this day.

They may model themselves after 80s and 90s thrashers such as METALLICA and MEGADETH but their sound is one all their own. Listening to them and realizing where they hailed from, I couldn’t help but compare them to fellow Danes VOLBEAT, except in all the ways VOLBEAT embodies rockabilly and sultry FRANK SINATRA-like crooners, THE KILLERHERTZ are full-bore, balls to the wall, down-tuned modern thrash metal pioneers more similar to EARLY MAN. To further their connection with the 80s thrashers, they got legendary producer Flemming Rasmussen to mix and master all their releases - the man behind METALLICA’s arguably, most influential trio of albums from 1984s “Ride the Lightning” through 1988’s somewhat controversial “..And Justice For All”. The influence is strong but the band manage to create a sound and feel that is different with each song.

Their latest release is woefully short – just a 4-track EP – but it is a thunderously welcome blistering set. Arguably starting with the weakest entry, title track “Innocent Sinners” is mostly a romp through simple down-tuned riffs and devoid of much of the guitar originality that the boys are known for, the lyrics even seem reluctant with the repeating line “I DON’T need to go a thousand miles per hour”. Things pick up on “Ill Addictive Romance” with an intriguing intro guitar riff, opening up into enormous, soaring vocal lines and heavily addictive sing-along lyrics with beautiful harmonies out of an 80s hair metal song. It evens features an acrobatic guitar solo and additional lead lines to take us out. Then comes one of two absolutely stellar tracks starting with “Foodchain Victim”. Beginning with pensive clean guitar lines before turning ugly into Dave Mustaine grouchy vocal delivery with a perfectly syncopated double bass run underneath. The chorus ends, always whispered, as everything drops out for such a profound effect. Then there is the dual guitar work that makes me long for my old 90s era IN FLAMES records.

But one of the best is saved for last, a cover of Danish band Danseorkestret’s 1985 hit “Kom Tilbage Nu”. In this track, they have really made it their own as the original is more 80s pop than rock. Much like with Alien Weaponry and their use of the Maori language in their songs, you don’t need to understand Danish to appreciate the inventive turn they took on this track. This is another band that after listening to this small offering you’re going to want check out the rest of this creative quartet’s output to truly appreciate the originality this band puts out into the world.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Innocent Sinners
2. Ill Addictive Romance
3. Foodchain Victim
4. Kom Tilbage Nu
Lineup:
Thomas Trold – Vocals and Guitar
Kent KillerHertz – Drums
Jonas Roxx – Lead Guitar
Jakob Nielsen – Bass
Record Label: Noisegate Records
     


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