I actually heard this bands “Kaiserhof” debut album years ago but forgot about it, so I gave it another spin to remind myself of what it was like and much like this new album Kayser play thrash metal and have in their ranks Spice, he of Spiritual Beggars at one point and Bob Ruben ex-Mushroom River Band to give the history lesson. Starting with a typically mild intro piece on “Bark And Bow” it yields into the chunky riff and roughneck beat of melodic thrash. The guitar sound is great, edgy and raw but with pronounced definition on each riff and hook played. “Bring Out The Clown” has a crisp riff and hints at the bands US style of thrash from the likes of Death Angel and Overkill. This is a quick tune and even has some touches of our own Evile from many years ago, which you’ll know exactly what I mean when you hear it.
On the melodic side of things Kayser show they’re capable of riffing with the best and incorporate some excellent lead work into all their songs. Parts of this had me thinking about older era Megadeth and newer Kreator due to the way the songs are structured with the balance between aggression and harmony being judged so well as on “I’ll Deny You”. The start to the title track is superb, drawing you in like a huge electromagnet then grabbing you for an ear shattering riff and hook and double bass undercarriage. The chanting chorus is sure to go down well live, these styles usually do as the album shifts style a bit on “Almost Home” with a far more groove metal posture you’d find on maybe a Grand Magus album. Hugely melodic and satisfyingly infectious the song is a real head nodder and when it hits the 80s style lead break I thought I was being time-warped back to another time and place, great stuff.
Every song on this is packed with memorable riffs and that really is what makes albums stand out, can you recall that riff, hum it in your head, maybe rekindle that vocal line in your head too is what Kayser do exceptionally well on “Forever In Doubt” as Spice’s vocals are excellent conveying each song perfectly with variations in tone as again the lead on this song is just wonderful to hear and absorb. Added to that the album is also peppered with keyboards courtesy of Simon Mårtensson. There’s been a fair few albums in recent months of top quality melodic thrash and this is right there with them all. If you crave an older more melodic thrash sound that isn’t always full on pedal to metal speed then this is a great album to get hold of.
(8/10 Martin Harris)