Genre: Heavy Metal
Released: April 2018
Reviewed by: Benedict Roff-Marsh
I like Metal (as I’m sure any UP reader knows) and I have covered lots of other things recently, even Pop! So time to go home so to speak. I did a quick whip around and shortlisted two records. The first was the new Silver Talon record “Becoming A Demon”. Sounds great and their supporting marketing is super. But in the end, KRULL won my heart better as while production on the Silver Talon record is better, KRULL is more fun, less formula.
The record starts with a soundscape that is about as ambitious as it is rough. It sets a scene though so all is forgiven (actually it is rather fun). Take care tho as the lads have set the album to start playing at track 2 so you might want to adjust to be sure you get the full experience.
Then the record kicks in. It does sound a bit thin (horrible if I am being one of those pedantic audio-quality rule-Nazis who proliferate on the internet). But once I turn up the volume to recover some missing oomph, and the song itself weighs in, it is just a rollicking ride. Although at times the mixes do suffer from a vocal relegated to backing under the lead kick drum.
“A Wisch. She’s a Wiisch” working towards a falsetto “Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh” is laughable but just so much fun. Every darned time I hear it. This is how you do it, kids – forget being cool, be dramatic, bombastic, have fun with it. Make the listener happy.
KRULL, no doubt named after the dubious 80’s fantasy film, hail us from São Paulo, Brazil via the German mini-label Iron Shield. This doubly explains the strange pronunciation of words like Witch.
KRULL has been around for 20 years but this seems to be their first full album. They hit us with a themed record based around characters & stories from Robert E. Howard who created characters like Conan the Barbarian. I don’t know enough about these stories to comment on how well the material is covered.
KRULL’s style is probably what pedants call Power Metal. Sadly while I want to like Power Metal, mostly I find it lacks any content past the initial rousing cliches. Thankfully KRULL cut through that and focus on their material and that builds the real interest. They even play a slow song which has the juxtaposition of being titled “Valhalla”. I like it. Great to hear a variety of pacing and material.
I have great hopes for acts like KRULL if audiences can get behind them (here they are low on the totem pole behind headliners Anal Vomit hihi).
I also think that the band themselves could/should do a lot more to create a better presence. The album cover art is really good (by Fabian from Batallion who are on the same bill) but there is no real personal support material. The band looks pretty cool yet there is nothing like a video at all. I know they may say it is a money thing but these days with everyone having a video camera on their phone and a free movie editor (with more downloadable) I think that an act like this not having a proper (if simple) video or two to present themselves on their own website is very unwise. If you need some tips guys, look at some of the wonderfully vile vids Doors & Fours put out every few days. Take the live footage and use the studio sound. Video done.
Back yourselves guys and then the fans have something to join you in.
As for what this record is like. Iron Maiden “Powerslave” is the obvious and Judas Priest too. I just have to deliberate between “Screaming For Vengeance” or “Painkiller”. Probably the latter as the former is more Bluesy. And if you liked Toledo Steel “No Quarter” then this is worth your time too.
Bottom line is that this is a record I want to put on again, and again so that makes it a winner (lucky Jane likes/tolerates Metal).