Knives Out! is indeed back and once again features drummer Tommy Sickles, vocalist Todd Smith, guitarist Jasan Stepp (Who, ahem, steps into the lead gee-tar with Tom Maxwell absent from these recordings), and bassist Bill Gaal replacing David Cullen this time around. But if you’re looking at this as a Nothingface reunion featuring some guys from Dog Fashion Disco and Polkadot Cadaver then please get the fuck outta here right now. Sure, the framework for each of those bands lies within but Knives Out! has always been wholly a different beast altogether.
Heavier, more brutal, and more EVIL than its predecessor, Left In The Lurch is the Knives Out! record fans have been clamoring for in the years that followed the band’s initial outing.
“Deny Your Maker” is a riff-fueled master course in how to metal properly with Todd Smith leading the proceedings like a veritable madman. Y’all still drooling over Mike Patton? Smith is the real deal. Equal parts maniacal ringleader, whispering serial killer, and undeniable crooner, Smith has a range that is unparalleled in the world of modern metal. With commanding lines like “I am your god now/Look in my eyes/I am your master of pain and suffering!”, Smith owns the mic and in turn, all his followers.
“Mysterious Ways” is like being on an out-of-control rollercoaster. It’s Tommy Sickles’ insane fills and constant pummeling, Stepp and his maximum riffage, Gaal’s gruesome low end rumbles, and Smith’s crazy range.
You know what? Every song is like a rollercoaster!
“Give Up The Ghost” speeds along at a frenetic pace thanks to Sickles’ incendiary drumming then settles into these obscene grooves that’d make Lamb Of God weep with envy until the title track comes along and Stepp’s guitars sonically mesh into an unholy aurgasm.
If your brain is still intact after all of that then songs like “Gomorrah”, “Fuck My Way To Hell”, and “Cherished Possession” (Which features an anthemic chorus akin to “Hysteria” from their debut) are still waiting to ruin all other metal for listeners because of their brilliance.