When KILJIN invite you to go on a musical journey with them, you best take heed. Given the place the Michigan behemoth came from, a primeval, subterranean metal underworld, the prospect of plummeting into the depths of their twisted and explosive hard rock universe is enough to bring on a dose of the bends. Since their emergence, KILJIN have shown that brain-twisting heaviness doesn’t have to be dull-edged, and that it can even be a thing of exciting delight. In fact their 11 track debut album, “Master Of Illusion” proved beyond any reason of doubt that members Trevor Aumaugher (vocals, lead guitar), Tony Aumaugher (bass), Scott Spencer (rhythm guitar) and Bryant Aumaugher (drums) formed one of the best underground, classic metal bands on the planet.
KILJIN’s full length sophomore album, “Vampire Hunter” – released May 5th of 2021 – is here to certify and cement that claim. This compilation brings together all of the band’s, technical, songwriting and performing strengths, together with their sometimes oddball and manic tendencies. And rather than adhering to any preset templates this album becomes a highly creative and effective stampede which is KILJIN to the core.
Monolithic riffs, thunderous rhythms, screaming solos and soaring vocals abound, as KILJIN further injects their sound with a sinister edge that’s off kilter and immediate at the same time. From the opening title track “Vampire Hunter”, which follows the intro skit, “In Other News”, KILJIN build on their raging metal aesthetic with a cosmic heaviness that drag audiences into black holes of mystery and malice.
“Sign of the Witch”, offers no suggestion of reprise, as the guitars grind with overdriven grit, laying the foundation for the aggressive vocals which conjure images of danger lurking just below the surface. When the Michigan four-piece are rollicking along in pure metallic fury, it remains wondrous to behold. The music within is powerful, defiant and steeped in anguish, and shows the quartet at their most insanely powerful.
Moving forward, “Mankind” shows a band whose sound is akin to that of a fire-breathing monster, a towering metal monolith that destroys all it sees, while “Eat The Worm” displays a 360 degree vision of the band as they move between softer and louder sections.
All the while, the guitars continue to riff and shred with an unstoppable vengeance. “Asylum Take Me Home” is an absolute guitar fest, supported by a demonic rhythm and full-throated vocals.
“Changeling” and “Defend the Land” come straight from the classic KILJIN songbook: powerful, passionate metal, written and performed by one of the most creative and ambitious underground bands in the genre, and carrying such a weight that it’s capable of levelling mountains. By the time you press play on the relentless “Curse of the Mummy” and the closing “Exorcism”, it becomes apparent that KILJIN has brought back the narrative-driven album.
Just as “Master Of Illusion” was considered magnificent on so many levels last year, “Vampire Hunter” is a rich, beautiful record with layer after layer of six-string heaviness to sift through. KILJIN’s musical brilliance is on full display, and the fulcrum of their sound is arguably the greatest it has ever been. The booming vocals anchor the band’s sound while the instrumentalists have created a dynamic repertoire of rhythm and riffs, ready to dominate rock and metal across the globe
Official Website: www.KILJIN.com
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCn55H7fo3qrMUrPb5BZ6yDA
Amazon music: www.music.amazon.com/artists/B08DMBVYKD/kiljin?marketplaceId=ATVPDKIKX0DER&musicTerritory=US