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Melodic power metal with an 80s hardrock throwback - 80%

TrooperOfSteel, April 12th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Massacre Records (Enhanced)

Fans of melodic metal rejoice as there is a new band to get excited over, I speak of Germany’s Love.Might.Kill. Funny name, with the dots in between each word, but it’s certainly not the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. In the band’s influences, which range from Rainbow to Judas Priest, the debut CD ‘Brace for Impact’ is indeed an exceptional release that also borders on power metal and 80’s melodic metal/rock on occasions.

Formed by the long-time ex-drummer of power metal band Metalium and now current Firewind drummer since 2010, Michael Ehré, Love.Might.Kill was created in 2009 from Ehré’s vision of wanting his own metal band. Joining the drummer is guitarists Stefan Ellerhorst and Christian Stöver (both ex-Crossroads), bassist Jogi Sweers and unknown but impressive vocalist Jan Manenti. Jan has a great voice for melodic metal, very passionate and soulful; and at times can be quite similar to the great David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and the late Ronnie James Dio.

Signed with Massacre Records, ‘Brace for Impact’ was co-written and produced by Michael Ehré, and mixed by Markus Teske, whose previous works include Spock’s Beard, Vanden Plas and Saga. The album was released in June 2011 to some quite positive reviews around the globe, including this one. The first thing I noticed while listening to the disc was just the pure enjoyment of the music and the high craftsmanship of all involved. I was also amazed by vocalist Jan Manenti, who seems to have come out of nowhere and is a superb find for Ehré and the band as a whole.

Not overly hard and heavy (comparing to modern power metal), ‘Brace for Impact’ blends a wonderful mix of 80’s melodic metal/hard rock with modern European melodic/power metal that is quite catchy, energetic and largely entertaining. The CD features lots of melody with frequent and tantalising guitar riffs and wails; with also some groove thrown in for good measure. Twin guitar blast ala Judas Priest are one of the many highlights throughout (as well as the mesmerising solos throughout) and two thumbs up must be given to Stefan and Christian for their fantastic performance on the album. The diversity created by infusing a power metal feel into their melodies and structures is another standout, as their song-writing doesn’t follow the same script or formula for each track; while there’s nothing wrong with beefing up a few tracks here are there.

While all of the tracks on the disc are of a consistent high quality, the standout picks of the bunch would be as follows: the old school 80’s hard rock CD opener “Tomorrow Never Comes”, which is a hearty and vigorating track that is instantly catchy and memorable, next the speedy and melodic “Calm Before the Storm”, the powerful, catchy and emotional “Pretty Little Mess”, which sounds a lot like Dio/Rainbow at times; and the Whitesnake influenced “Caught in a Dream”. Without wanting to name the entire disc, I must add that the title track “Brace For Impact” is another top song, that could have easily fitted onto Edguy’s ‘Rocket ride’ album; while “Down To Nowhere” contains a thumping double bass and swift guitar riff into that doesn’t let up during the entire track; a kick ass track which could possibly be the heaviest song on the CD.

Not intended to be anything ground-breaking, ‘Brace For Impact’ is a very solid and well performed disc that has a lot going for it. Without talented and versatile vocalist Jan Manenti, this could have been a melodic metal release just like the hordes of others and nothing to show that would break away from those masses. Love.Might.Kill has definitely gotten off to a splendid and exciting start that has a bright future in front of it; and now Michael Ehré has another successful band to add to his portfolio (with Firewind being the other current band). For melodic metal fans that also enjoy the “softer” side of power metal and 80’s metal/hard rock.

Originally written for both www.metalcdratings.com and www.themetalforge.com

Love.Might.Kill - Brace For Impact - 70%

padshiyangel01, July 6th, 2011

“Brace for impact!” was the cry from Chesley Sullenberg as he landed the Airbus A320 on the Hudson River, but unlike that crash landing, Love.Might.Kill's début album of the same phrase gives a full aerial display, soaring up and diving down in equal measure. The band, masterminded by Firewind/Metalium/Uli Jon Roth drummer Michael Ehré, deliver melodic heavy/power metal with an impressive namecheck of influences.

The opener track “Tomorrow Never Comes” arrives in style with a crunchy guitars and big pounding drums, and it becomes a game of Name That Influence. The harmonized riffing of ex-Crossroads guitarists Stöver and Ellerhorst are good, but nothing spectacular. The solos are where they truly come into their own, especially on the driving “Down To Nowhere”, prompting much air-guitaring. The keyboardist is uncredited, but mostly their work is relegated to the odd synth section, apart from an epic finale in “Love Will Remain” and a solo on the lackluster “Caught In A Dream”. Sweers' bass may as well not exist, but that is to be expected on an album commandeered by a drummer. Speaking thereof, Ehré shows some chops but mostly sticks to a fist-pumping rhythm or double-bass bash, breaking out into the odd fill or roll such as on interlude “The Answer”, which are adequate for the time being, but I can hope for some improvement on the sophomore effort.

Love.Might.Kill have found a gem in vocalist Jan Manenti, who emulates a hybrid of Dio, David Coverdale and Apollo Papathanasio, imprinting a unique brand on an otherwise unoriginal album. His range is impressive from the lows of “Caught In A Dream” to the air-raid siren on “Satan's Den”, cementing his place in the band. Lyrical content has been carefully molded to his voice, creating some great singalong choruses such as on “Pretty Little Mess” and the title track. Topics such as overcoming difficulties, the devil arriving on earth and our inevitable self-destruction are nothing new to the metal genre, but the ability to sing along to them with such a smile on my face is certainly novel.

First impressions bring Hammerfall and Rainbow to mind, but later in the album older Helloween appears encapsulated in my favorite track “Calm Before The Storm”. Pretty Maids, Whitesnake, Masterplan and Accept also have their moments, which doesn't leave a lot of room for originality. Perhaps once these influences have been absorbed, Love.Might.Kill will be able to develop as a band and create something which is not only great fun to listen to, but also recognizably them.

Originally posted at www.blackwindmetal.blogspot.com