Genre: Heavy rock
Country: U.S.A
Label: Rat Pak Records
Year: 2014

Three musicians from different musical schools/backgrounds, but from the same generation, join their forces, with only thing in common, their love for innovation and melody. The well known, friend of BEATLEsque melodies, Doug Pinnick on bass, guitar wizard George Lynch, the man responsible for identifying the sound of melodic hard rockers DOKKEN -even at their more experimental/dark albums- and Ray Luzier, the drummer of Korn, one of the bands that defined the nu metal scene. Their collaboration here is an experiment, with ingredients, that in first sight can be considered unmatchable, but they have a common ground. The three musicians are experimentalists with an inclination to melody, filtered through various filters of metal sound. Their self titled, debut album gave me positive impressions and that’s not because of something innovative or unique. Musically, what we have here is a mix of KING’S X (BEATLES, melody, some power pop elements), with the heavy guitars of DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB, in great form and a drummer who fill the space and brings in mind, with no real effort, Neil Peart of RUSH, although with a simpler playing. You can find melodies, heavy guitar landscapes, a feeling that can be found in DOKKEN’s ‘Dysfunctional’, the experimental side of DOKKEN, and a very dark atmosphere, especially in the lyrics department. Songs like ‘Never Stop’ and ‘Love’ wouldn’t easily fit in a melodic rock band’s album, but here they fit like glove.

ΚΧΜ offers an audio proposal, where METALLICA meets KING’S X meets FAITH NO MORE, with tribal, funky rhythms, with the “black” guitars of LIVING COLOUR era. The band is tight, a power trio, with simple but powerful drumming, a bass player that fills the sound with bass lines, that rise from the depths of hell and guitars that easily swift between Eddie Van Halen and Frank Gambale. It is an album with its roots deep in the ‘70s but also in the experimental parts of ‘90s, it really deserves your time and attention. ‘Never stop’ is the typical melodic song you would expect from KING’S Χ, with honey dripping melodies and obvious influences from BEΑTLES, until lyrics like “drugs are more powerful than love’’ will bring you down in the “distorted” reality of the band. The distortion and the effects found in ‘Faith is a room’ create a futuristic atmosphere and tendency, a claustrophobic sound scape, from a band that tries hard to cross the barriers, set by the history of its individual members. Luzier proves its innovative playing as a drummer, avoiding copying the 70’s and Bohnam, but keeping his dynamic playing and diversity in his sound approach, as in ‘I’ll be ok’. Where Pinnick really blows you off is at the lyrics section of ‘Sleep’, with references about abuses and family violence, that freezes you with its deep, but also isolated, point of view.

This album is heavy, yet experimental. A fresh suggestion, that incorporates absolutely the three members in a new musical entity, a future hope. Melodic, metallic and above all, mature, capable of opening new paths at technical, melodic metal.

4,5/6