Kill Division – Destructive Force

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Review by Paul Castles

Metal Blade

This trio hail from the Netherlands and as their perfectly named debut album showcases they are a welcome addition to the ranks of death/thrash metal. The three performers – Gerl, Richard Ebisch and drummer Roel Sanders – have respectively served their metal apprenticeships performing with the likes of Asphyx, God Dethroned, Legion of the Damned, and Inhume.

The Dutch deviants indulge in a spot of self-promotion with opening stormtrooper ‘Kill Division March’ but as a curtain raiser the footstomping intro works well. ‘Mechanic Domination’ offers the first genuine glimpse of Kill Division and it’s a power-packed romp with the double pronged vocal attack coming from Gurl and Ebisch. There’s a meaty hook nestling in the breakdown sections of ‘Locked Up Forever’ that would silence a ravenous tiger. At six minutes, the album’s title track is the longest on an album that comes in at around 35 minutes.

A steadier more pronounced intro allows the track to build up nicely rather than just plunging straight in all guns blazing. With the riff reaching a peak Ebisch enters with his lusty deep growls at which point ‘Destructive Force’ flares up into a wild thrash fest before a bludgeoning guitar break slices through the mayhem towards the end. ‘Generated Hate’ is another thundering track with an old style death metal intro instantly calling your neck muscles into action. Penultimate track ‘Master Manipulator’ is another heat-seeking missile, a ponderous but purposeful pulse beating throughout, as the vocal double-header kicks in again on another nutcrushing number.

Not every female singer is likely to possess the depth and gravity of sound required to front a death metal band. There are plenty of notable female vocalists around of course, probably headed by Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow. Somi Arian of Mortad is another formidable frontwoman. Simone Pluijmers of Cerebral Bore could cough up a guttural roar that many male singers would struggle to emulate. Well, it may be that in time, Susan Gerl of Kill Division will also be spoken of in such terms. Unlike, say, Lacuna Coil where the male-female vocals tend to work separately, with Kill Division the duo are often in sync, leaving Sanders to blast way on his kit with double kicks running amok.

Much of this album is thrash-driven death metal although not quite with the same velocity of venom carried by the likes of Immolation. It may be a debut release but its three protagonists are all experienced performers and so it’s no surprise that a label as respected as Metal Blade have added the Dutch trio to their armoury of hardcore heavyweights. Kill Division have certainly earned their stripes with Destructive Force.

Kill Division - Destructive Force7 out of 10

Track listing

  1. Kill Division March
  2. Mechanic Domination
  3. Fear of Life
  4. Locked Up Forever
  5. Made of Lies
  6. Destructive Force
  7. Sadistic Oppressor
  8. Distorted Reality
  9. Generated Hate
  10. Master Manipulator
  11. Toxic World