Add a pinch of Slayer and As I lay Dying with a healthy dose of Metallica and Anthrax, and you get once thrilling and powerfully accomplished band in the shape of Death By Ki. The British metallers as shown by their tremendous debut EP The Right Of Might, is a new invigorating force in UK metal and a band which breathes honest and rampant rock n roll through songs which scintillate and exhaust. Their first EP is a mighty introduction and though arguably it is playing with already seeded ammunition in the genre, the record is one of the most enterprising and exciting releases to hit this year.
From Bridgwater, Somerset, the quartet of Josh Ayerst (guitars and lead vocals), Chris Chamberlain (guitars and backing vocals), Will Robins (bass and backing vocals), and Nick Cope (drums), has grown into a compelling and richly satisfying presence since seeds which began when Ayerst and Cope jammed together as school friends. Subsequent time saw Robins join but it was with the addition of Chamberlain in 2011 that the band found its whole and solidity. The past couple of years has seen the band unleash impressive stage shows on their own and alongside the likes of Gallows, Revoker, Romeo Must Die, Evile, and Be’Lakor, all the time honing and exploring their sound and ideas until ready to record their first offering. Recorded with Jeff Rose (former guitarist for Dub War and Skindred), The Right Of Might is a stunning collection of songs which whilst not exactly re-inventing existing formulas certainly gives them a fresh and impacting fury.
Released May 20th, The Right Of Might instantly raps on the senses with the first sinewy beats of opener Like Oxygen To Fire. Soon joined by ravenous riffs and keen acidic sonics from the guitars, the track slaughters the ear with crisp rhythms and rabid energy for an instantaneous rewarding confrontation. The vocals of Ayerst brawl with impressive craft and expressive passion to add to the already in place intrigue and pleasure, and as grooves and hooks tease and entwine the energy the track needs to make no more persuasion as to its impressive stance and purpose. But impress further it does with great melodic flames from Chamberlain and a raptorial menacing prowl to the bass of Robins. The song has a familiarity to it which for sure is a consequent of the band playing with existing essences but it also makes it an immediate best friend for the heart, as with the whole release. The fact that the band conjure these already in place endeavours into their own creative rampancy does the release or the massive enjoyment no harm either of course.
The title track follows and within seconds is searing the senses with fine guitar heat and craft. As with the first song soon the storming blend of hungry riffs and bone shuddering rhythms drives the track deeper into the passions with an excellent scraping yet picky melodic vein, which actually reminds a little of the Skids back in their early days, adding another spiral of lust to the brewing ardour. A seamless collision of styles and attitude, the track ignites an anthemic appetite which captures the imagination with merciless efficiency and backed up by the great skill and imaginative rhythmic and guitar sculpting, it is no surprise why the track steal top honours on the EP.
Control (In A World Of Free Will) is a less intensive encounter though still drives with a muscular intent and energy which leaves many other similarly gaited bands sounding pale in comparison. The track again entices and seduces with musicianship which exploits every ounce of quality within the songwriting and a vocal attack which growls and harmonically persuades with matching strength. The fiery solo of Chamberlain again leaves one grinning whilst the song as a whole is a rampant and wholly rewarding bruise of aggressive invention.
The band expands their sound further with Tao, a song with an emotively melodic embrace and enveloping atmosphere which wraps itself warmly around ear and thoughts. The vocals of Ayerst shine even further here, his part gravelly tones given further space to expel every syllable and lyrical intent with expressive breath. The excellent track then passes the metallic baton to closer Lights Out, a tempest of insatiable and debilitating energy which sparks even greater fires. Grooved, greedily riffed, and rhythmically uncompromising, the track ends the release as impressively and powerfully as it all began.
The Right Of Might EP may lack a little originality but whether you can find the same rapturous enjoyment and energising experience that easily elsewhere we doubt. Death By Ki is going to be big, mark our words.
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