We last heard this band back in 2014, when their tour with Battlecross came to Waiting Room. They weren’t a disappointment by any means, but their new album, War for an Idea proves that they’ve come a long way in a short time.
The album kicks off with “Starve”, a ripping thrash tune with an almost “Slayer feel” right off the bat. The very first note kicks off an old school thrash lead, reminiscent of Kerry King. From there, it just doesn’t quit. You’re headbanging to killer riffs and diverse lead harsh vocals for just over 3 minutes.
The riffs overall have gotten more melodic since my last time hearing this band (granted it’s been 3 years). Oddly enough, given the show I mentioned earlier, this new IKILLYA record has a great deal in common with Battlecross’s 3 full length efforts. Songs like “Your God” and “Burnt Bridges” keep the thrash theme going and pound straight through from start to finish. Melodic thrash riffing, balls to the wall dissonance, commanding harsh vocals and quick/intricate precise drumming are what this album’s all about.
Songs like “Every Man for Himself” slow things down a bit, but not for long. Even in the mid-paced sections of the album, the guitar picking is fast and relentless to make up the difference. I don’t think there is one boring riff on this album. Even the slower clean sections in “Every Man for Himself” have a classic Pantera feel to them that just can’t be ignored. With the clean guitars, comes some light clean singing here and there, but it’s never out of place. Instead, it just further adds to the album’s intriguing diversity.
The following tracks, “Rebel” and “One Life” bring things back up to the speed the album starts with. “One Life” in particular, has more of an anthem feel, fusing old school hardcore, new school thrash and early As I Lay Dying era metalcore. It’s a very interesting track and might just be my favorite.
“Betray Your Creator” is another great song for riffs. This one seems to have more of a The Black Dahlia Murder vibe, given the darker nature of the fast sections, but it doesn’t stray from IKILLYA‘s core sound. “Remnants of a Divided Nation” brings more beautiful clean guitars and some light piano sections, slowing things down considerably, however, it’s just a segway track that bleeds right into “My Hands Around Your Throat”- another old school hardcore/early 2000s metalcore sounding one (nice throwback).
The album concludes with “Manifesto”, a great conclusion with some killer samples as the intro. The way this entire track is arranged makes it an ideal closer, unlike many bands who like to end their albums on a completely random note. “Manifesto” eventually erupts into a beautiful orchestral progression. I took it as an ominous forewarning of things to come from their next record (which I already can’t wait to hear).
Needless to say, I’m sold. Don’t forget to check these guys out at Stamps on July 15th with Product of Hate. Our very own, Mike Deitzman (The Masked Promoter) is bringing this tour to Buffalo. The Long Cold Dark will be playing as well. Don’t miss it!
Sidenote: The last time we saw IKILLYA, they had stencils instead of stickers. We hope they’ve upgraded to stickers. That is all.