Brace For Impact

Written by: TL on 31/08/2011 01:06:29

While German metal drummer and producer Michael Ehré has already spent several years in such bands as Firewind, Uli Jon Roth and Metalium, it seems his desire for music is not lessened, judging from the fact that tonight's first promo, "Brace For Impact", is the debut album of Love.Might.Kill, a new band assembled and masterminded by Ehré, as a vessel for him to realise material that he started writing three years ago. The band is completed by singer Jan Manenti, guitarists Stefan Ellerhorst and Christian Stöver (both from the band Crossroads) and finally bassist Jogi Sweers.

If none of those bands or names manage to give you a clue, know that the style on offer here is a mix of traditional power-metal and heavy-metal, with a dash of hard rock alá Whitesnake here and there. You've got your dramatic guitar riffs, both heavy and menacing as well as blazingly and screechingly melodic, you've got your elaborately programmed backing synths and you've got your singer with a powerful, wavering croon. So effectively everything is in place for the band to have yet another go at genres old and often re-intrepreted.

As is so often the case with bands like these, it's hard not to think immediately of Iron Maiden while listening to them, as both the dramatic arrangements, the lead and backing vocals and the typically OTT solos all sound very similar to how the grand masters of the genre have been doing things for years. Thankfully, Love.Might.Kill has wisely chosen to also vary things as much as 'Maiden do, and instead of twelve identikit barnburners, we are instead treated to songs of shifting speed and theme. Groovy mid-tempo rockers like "Pretty Little Mess" for instance, are as hard-rock as they are metal, and seemingly more romantically themed, hence justifying the Whitesnake parallel. "Caught In A Dream" and "Brace For Impact" on the other hand, are hard-edged, fist pumping stompers, while "Reach Out", "Calm Before The Storm" and "Down To Nowhere" complete the spectrum will fully galloping onslaughts.

As for strengths and weaknesses, it's hard not to listen and come to the conclusion that Love.Might.Kill have the same as many other similar bands. One has to marvel at the elaborately composed songs, and the experience and playing ability portrayed by the guys in the band, but only while also despairing at how little interest they seem to have in innovation. Because save for a crisp and spotless 2011 production job, there's not much on "Brace For Impact" that sets Love.Might.Kill from similar artists. It seems yet another manifestation of the attitude, that if you can re-do the genre well enough to impress the fans that are already interested in the niché, then that is better than to risk anything at all, attempting to push some boundaries and try to make heavy/power seem relevant in 2011. If you're in any way in tune with today's music scene, you'll know that both those genres are considered dated for a reason, and you'll likely listen to "Brace For Impact" and think that it sounds dated too. Admittedly, this also describes my perspective quite well, and hence I can't give a better grade than the one that follows, but do know that if you're personally more interested in classic styles of rock as opposed to contemporary ones, this is better than solid and you should probably consider it graded at least one point higher.

Download: Pretty Little Mess, Caught In A Dream
For The Fans Of: Iron Maiden, Dio, Whitesnake, Pretty Maids
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Release Date 17.06.2011
Massacre Records

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