Genre: Hard Rock
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: September 5th, 2014
Links: Official Web Site
Hannes Braun (Vocals)
Jim Müller (Guitar)
Ande Braun (Guitar)
Steffen Haile (Bass)
Andreas Schnitzer (Drums)
VIP In Hell
God In You
Legion Of The Legendary
The Final Dance
Ticket To Paradise
bonus track on Ltd. Edition Digipak: Golden Cage
So another month and another Scandinavian hard rock release which… wait… these guys are German??? But it’s not possible, German bands don’t create music like this, you need to come from Stockholm or Helsinki in order to be able to deliver sleaze tinged hard rock albums of this calibre, surely then there is a mistake here?
Thankfully, no…….no mistake because delivering solid hard rock albums is in fact just what Kissin’ Dynamite do and with this, their fourth release they may have produced their best work to date. To emphasise this point, whilst reviewing the album it’s taken a dozen repeats just to get past track one such is the infectiousness of opener ‘DNA’. If this was a one track album, I’d happily award it 10/10 on the strength of this as the track has elements of hard rock and techno driven samples and keyboards, chant along choruses and excellent vocal work that reminds me at times of latter era Shotgun Messiah.
Finally though we get past track one and investigate the other nine tracks on offer on this the standard rather than the digipack release which will contain an additional bonus track ‘Golden Cage’.
‘Maniac Ball’ and ‘VIP in Hell’ continue the trend set by the opening track and happily mix different styles of delivery with the latter containing verses that dip into Rap territory at time whilst still maintaining the core, sleaze / hard rock elements that the band are so well known for. The drumming on these tracks verges on the sort of speed you encounter on power metal albums and helps produce tracks that just generate smiles and a desire to turn the volume up another notch. This album could well see the need to look for those fabled amps that do indeed go to 11.
‘Firefly’ presents the first ballad of the album and the guys from Swabia provide a master class in song writing that in no way allows the tone and energy of the album to dip. ‘Deadly’ immediately follows and some of the industrial elements that other famous German bands are known for are added to the mix. The style of the songs don’t change, remaining firmly in the hook laden hard rock genre but by adding elements of other styles, the keyboards, vocal effects and occasional de tuned guitars add an edge not seen by their Scandinavian cousins and give the listener something fresh and definitely original. It’s a very modern take on a classic sound and on ‘God in You’ imagine Europe with Marilyn Manson singing the lead vocals and you’ll get close to understanding some of the chances and risks they’ve taken with this release. It works very, very well and as such the album should appeal to lovers of AOR as much as it will to lovers of Heavy Metal, Power Metal and beyond.
‘Legion of the Legendary’ contains elements of Linkin Park at their best with Hannes Braun rapping his way through the verses, the electronic additions in the background could easily come from Hybrid Theory or Meteora and then the chorus kicks in with a solid bass drum driven groove that just proves how far the band have come in recent years. Hannes Braun is able to flex his style, delivery and range on almost every track and we have a potential great pairing in the metal world with brother and guitarist Ande Braun playing some fantastic licks.
Older listeners may well appreciate a respite from the energy and on ‘The Final Dance’ a slow piano led intro shows a softer more mellow side to the band as Hannes requests that if they are going to be apart for ever in the future then at least let him have this final dance tonight…
As we wipe away a tear, final track on the album is ‘Ticket to Paradise’ and as expected, the powerful bass and drum beat returns and leaves listeners with an infectious chorus that as hoped will linger and guarantee repeated plays of the whole album.
I for one never thought that they could better second release ‘Addicted to Metal’ (2010) but this album hits a home run on every track. There is absolutely no filler here at all. Album of the year so far by a country mile!
In Autumn 2014, KISSIN’ DYNAMITE will embark on their European headline tour. See them if you can.
REVIEWED BY ADRIAN