Hailing from Brighton KICKFIST have been working hard building an fan base and honing their craft since 2009 and they released this their début EP last August. Filled with grooves and melody they pull no punches and as they first track is named, this EP is no bullshit, no compromise, on every fucking level!
The Violent Insanity begins in just as raucous a way as you would expect it to start with the hard riffage of No Compromise (No Bullshit). It’s got a definite southern metal sound to the guitars while the vocalist take on an almost nu-metal phrasing and pace throughout. The chorus us pure sing along crowd participation goodness that I’m sure hardcore fans of KICKFIST will all know. Towards the end of the song it gets heavy as fuck, an utterly bludgeoning riff that takes over expertly from the guitar solo and the song goes on to the end in the same way. Heavy as Hell!
Watch The Fallen begins in very much the same way, with a heavy riff but leads into a quieter verse where the vocalist manages to sound like a breathier, almost creepier version of Alice Cooper. The chorus is pretty melodic, which is kinda cool, considering it’s surrounded but heavy riffs through the rest of the song. KICKFIST manage to sound like a cross between the lighter sides of Killswitch Engage and Pantera in this track, makes for interesting listening.
Second to last track Drown begins with the sound of thunder and falling rain while the main riff plays quietly over the top, the bass and drums in this section sound reminiscent-again-of 90s nu-metal. The verse riff is more southern fueled heaviness that is unrelenting in its intensity, until the chorus kicks in. The chorus is great mix of melodic soaring vocals, equally melodic guitars, really cool stuff actually because they manage to and a heavier section to the chorus which breaks it up into two distinctive sections.
The final track Sculptor To The Clay begins in a not often heard way, rather than a few generic samples it begins with what sounds like a scripted dialogue between two people, with the musical backdrop being a rather spooky melange of synth noises. When the song kicks in it starts off heavy but leads into another slow melodic verse, this does give way to more heaviness but KICKFIST offset this with varied vocals that travel indiscriminately between soaring 80s stadium rock, Jonathan Davies esque reserved whispers and feral screams, really very well done too. This is probably my favourite song on the EP as there are more layers to it than the others.
For a début release, this is pretty damn strong. It’s heavy, it’s groovy, it’s melodic and with nu-metal influences throughout, it has a mainline to my fifteen year old self. Having never heard of KICKFIST until doing this review I’ll be sure to check out their next release and hopefully be able to see them if they ever come to my area.