A Killer’s Confession, the new band led by former Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis released their debut album “Unbroken” on the April 28th via the EMP Label Group, founded by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. “Unbroken” was produced by Reavis and the song “A Killer’s Confession” was co-produced with Thom Hazaert, with Engineer/Mixer Richard Easterling (American Head Charge, Doll Skin, Emperors and Elephants) at Richmond, KY’s Third Sky Studio. A Killer’s Confession consists of Waylon Reavis (vocals), Jon Dale (drums), JP Cross (bass), Matt Trumpy (guitar), and Paul Elliott (guitar).
Musical taste is not something that can be disputed so I respect that, but I have to tell that right from the introductory instrumental shriek and grind of “Awakening” you know A Killer’s Confession are deadly serious about making a real heavy metal album.
“Unbroken” is intimidating in its unforgiving heaviness and produced to perfection. It takes the best of Waylon Reavis’ growling to melodic vocal deliveries, as a starting point, and then injects it with relentless and wholly brutal riffs and rhythms, making this masterfully constructed collection painfully raw and utterly compelling.
As A Killer’s Confession sticks to a bludgeoning, unrelentingly mean-spirited constant from start to finish. It’s almost enough to inspire a strange sort of respect for the group’s single-mindedness. On “Spawn Of 7”, the band come out roaring – all blast-beats and hardcore-riddled metal riffs, defying all expectations.
Vocalist Waylon Reavis’ inimitable talents are instantly pushed into the limelight here. However, the vocals are only the tip of the iceberg. The guitar playing is impressive on any level, extreme metal or not. The ceremonial heavy-as-hell power chording is here in excess, but has plenty of sweet lead work to balance it out.
There are thousands of metal bands all fighting for a little piece of attention, so how do you stand out? You blend the old and traditional with the new and the cutting edge, and write a song like “Rebirth”, or you go kick-ass epic, and cinematic, with a track like “A Killer’s Confession”.
You have one more option of course, blend everything from the previous two tracks and layer melodic harmonies over the top, to come out with an all-embracing track like “1080P”, which has a mainstream-ready chorus, and a bunch of alternative versus.
Rounding up the standouts in the track-list, “Reason” and “I Will Define” (with Dead By Wednesday”, sees the band in total beast mode, while “Sympathy” ft. Kimberly Freeman, “Letting Go” (with Amerakin Overdose) and “Purification” (with HEX), perfectly express their more melodic side.
I love heavy music that is tight, doesn’t sound like a distorted mess, and is backed up with intense and intelligent lyrics. With this album you have all the boxes checked. This is an album you can put in and leave in, no need for skipping, you get the full ride.
Not a single track on this recording is disappointing. It is mesmerizing, hypnotic and aggression personified in equal parts and the band’s versatility across the space of these 13 tracks show exactly why. It’s one thing to have an ear for a good beat, lick or progression, but it’s quite another to have that, alongside a nose for a good story. “A Killer’s Confession” has all these elements wrapped up in their songs.
I’m also something of an album cover fetishist and to me covers are an integral part of the experience of listening to a new record. Never underestimate the value a well-thought out album cover adds to the music it contains. And the “Unbroken” album cover goes perfectly with its theme. What can I say. These guys are bad ass!