‘Speak True Evil’, the new E.P from Canadian alt-rockers Kill No Albatross, is a snapshot of a band on the rise. Mixing elements of prog, rock and alternative metal music, the E.P., released July 13th, is a perfect entry point for listeners looking for a fresh take on the genre.
Although brief (4 songs in total), ‘Speak True Evil’ still manages to pack a fair amount of punch. The opening track, “Seven Tools”, starts with jungle-sounding, rumbling drums underneath a high-pitched, proggy guitar riff. There’s some decent harmonies throughout the song and the vocals in general are good. Heading into the first chorus there’s a glitch effect on the guitar that gives the song a little extra prog edge.
It’s a small detail, but there’s examples of this kind of thing throughout the E.P. and it really helps to flesh out the band’s sound as a whole and give them some added depth. The chorus itself features melodic harmonies and it’s pretty catchy. Heading out of the chorus, into the second verse, we get an intricate, groovy riff that highlights the song for me. Overall, it’s a very good song, its melodic but it retains just enough edge for me.
“Apex Predator” is a much fiercer sounding track. It opens with a fast, punchy riff with the vocals coming in almost immediately. It gets straight to the point and shows a much more aggressive side to the band. Like Seven Tools, the chorus is melodic and harmonic. This time, however, the chorus features sharp, squealing, syncopated guitar stabs that hit in time with the vocals to build on the confrontational style that the song has taken. The rhythm of the song is great, it’s probably the most headbang-worthy song on the E.P. On the whole, the rhythm section is very tight and every song has a solid rhythmic bed that’s built on by the guitar playing. It’s a very well put together E.P.
The band’s range is highlighted in Sky On Fire, a building, ascending song that starts with a mellow, laidback intro. The relaxed nature of this section of the song really suits the vocalists style. The E.P. features a variety of different vocal styles but I definitely think that this clean; relaxed style is the strongest.
The song gradually builds to a powerful chorus, before kicking into high gear. The screaming vocals in the later parts of the song felt unnecessary and didn’t really suit or fit the song.
The final track, Void, commences with a phasey, trippy guitar intro that morphs into an intricate riff. Probably the most impressive guitar work is found on this track. The solo section in particular is thoroughly enjoyable. There’s some cheesy, but forgivable lyrics throughout the song, “As this world slowly dies” for example. Not the most original stuff, but not the worst either. It’s a solid closing track.
I believe that Speak True Evil is a strong offering from a band that, with time and maturity, could develop into a very successful act. While I appreciate musical diversity, the mix of styles is a little bit loose at times and I think if Kill No Albatross can tighten things up and hone in on what they’re really about, they could really be onto something. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the E.P. and I’m excited to hear more in the Future.
Review by Josh Farrell