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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