It takes a lot for a band to come back and still be just as vital/potent after almost 10 years of recorded dormancy. And it takes a WHOLE lot more when half the foundation of your band splits and you still manage to come back like Kill Devil Hill has with an absolute blockbuster of a record in Seas Of Oblivion.
Gone are Rex Brown and Vinny Appice, two of the original four KDH members, with drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, EYE AM, Silvertomb, etc…) filling the roll behind the kit and ex-Five Finger Death Punch bassist Matt Snell taking over for the departed Pantera legend to inject new life into the outfit rounded out by vocalist Dewey Bragg and guitarist Mark Zavon. It might be close to 10 years since Kill Devil Hill’s sophomore outing Revolution Rise hit shelves but as fans will soon find out when they hear the highly anticipated third full-length, Seas Of Oblivion is well worth the wait.
One of the many highlights of Kill Devil Hill’s sound is that they don’t sound like the sum of their parts. At all. There’s no Pissing Razors-style thrashiness (Although Zavon’s guitars still rip!), no FFDP-like brutality, and no Type O Negative-style Goth Doom lording over all. Instead listeners get a hybrid of Layne Staley-era Alice In Chains and a little of Drowning Pool’s underrated Desensitized sound on an album that is still undeniably Kill Devil Hill through and through.
“Blood In The Water” is similarly a “Welcome Back!” and a swift kick in the ass to get this new party started off on the right foot with a rousing Rawk fest that just oozes with charisma and really lets loose this new combined lineup of Kelly, Bragg, Zavon, and Snell. “Before The Devil Knows” is another slammer and another that displays Bragg’s broad range showing the vocalist off as potentially THE secret weapon of KDH with fellow mainstay Zavon’s soloing bringing the fire! Speaking of, “Playing With Fire” is a quintessential Hard Rawk anthem with those airs of the aforementioned AIC present especially circa Facelift.
“Undertow” is built off some gnarly guitar licks from Zavon and a layered Bragg vocal delivery with a killer chorus to boot while “Pharmaceutical Sunrise” is a soaring anthem that embodies this “new” Kill Devil Hill with its’ thriving rhythm section standing out (Snell’s bass boom really pops early on here), Bragg belting out an epic chorus, and Zavon accentuating it all switching between electric and acoustic axes. “Darkest Days” is a steady stomper with Bragg getting a chance to really flex his vocal chops more than he ever did in Pissing Razors, “Seize The Day” is a crunchy jam with Kelly’s drumming crushing, and “From The Ashes” is a somber tome which brings to mind Down at times.
“Stranger Than Fiction” is driving with Zavon’s riffs front and center, “You Can’t Kill Me California” is fierce and easily one of the heaviest to date in the KDH sonic arsenal, and the title track is a gargantuan old school Groove Metal monster that could only be executed by a band with some Texas blood in them somewhere. Closing out Seas Of Oblivion by putting their own spin on Black Sabbath’s “Solitude” brings a solemn end to a solemnly grand return from Kill Devil Hill.
Seas Of Oblivion arrives through LEGEND Recordings on September 20th. Stay tuned to this page here or follow the trail of socials when you click here, here, or here to get the latest on Kill Devil Hill and the most up-to-date album pre-order and pre-save info.