KATL are a female fronted traditional heavy metal band from Canada, this is their self-titled second album following 2010’s ‘Out of the Pit’. I heard the name a short while back as they were the support band for the recent Judas Priest/Saxon tour in the UK, they will once again return the London on 13th August for a headlining show at London’s Borderline venue.

Musically, it is exactly what I would expect, tight power chords, full range vocals from Brittany Paige and a combination of semi-ballad and full on metal numbers consistent with the current European climate. I say European as this sounds like a lot of material over the last few years, I actually get quite complacent as I am listening to the album as I cannot find many distinguishing pointers that I have not heard time and time again. There is an element of joy; there are no “nasty” brutal songs, although this would have actually made things that little bit more unique. ‘Welcome to my Funeral’ has all the trademark sounds, it’s decent enough, but it lacks a bit of vocal power. The same goes for ‘Sanctuary’ with its tempo representing a little bit of a plod-fest. The guitar work is rather tasty, it has promise and the arrangements especially those of ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ have a little eastern promise in the melody. Where this album really hits the mark is the softer side like on ‘Lover of the beloved’. This suits the band much more; the melody is more innocent and fits more to the vocal range and delivery.

For all the musical talent on offer, I fail to get really excited about this release; it is so near, but so far and suffers regular weak moments. To really contend with the big European bands, this needs a bit of work, there is too much “la la” and not enough “rar rar” for me and the release is a little late as this boat has long since sailed away with the other bandwagon followers for this style of music.

(5/10, Paul Maddison)