Killing Touch - One Of A Kind
Scarlet Records
Progressive Power Metal
12 songs (1:05:54)
Release year: 2009
Killing Touch, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Goat

Vision Divine fans may have been miffed at vocalist Michele Luppi's departure, but the result is pretty spectacular; new band Killing Touch, made up of members of such small Italian groups as Silver Lady and Black Silver, is rather good. No doubt it'll be ignored as the Vision Divine fans stick to their band, but this more than deserves the time of any Metal fan who likes high-pitched vocals with their blasts and riffs. A concept album based around Stephen King's novel The Dead Zone, this is a mixture of Power, Prog, and Hard Rock, impressive musicianship driving some well-written songs that are fronted by Michele's anthemic wail. Songs are individual rather than just part of an album, although they do work together well, and the album is a fun experience overall - impressively, the album avoids the usual pitfall of this sort of band by not sounding exactly like Dream Theater, although some of the keyboard flourishes are more than a little Rudess-y. Give Killing Touch credit where it's due; fine, so they're not completely original but they know how to write good songs, and there's little else required from One Of A Kind other than that.

Things kick off immediately with the guitar-driven opener The Touch, cheerful Italian Power Metal doing its melodic thing with perhaps not the speed and aggression that certain modern bands are capable, but pressing the attack enough to draw listeners in. Guitarists Michele Vioni and Davide Montorsi don't indulge in much chugging, preferring to leave the heaviest work to the drums of Paolo Caridi who switches often between blasts and more complex work. A piano section towards the midway point bumps up the prog points and gives Luppi a chance to show off with a LaBrie impersonation, and although the transitions between some tracks aren't quite seamless, it's not so jarring that it spoils the experience. Mimicking Death pumps up the catchiness, an infectious chorus keeping you listening, before the title track moves towards ballad territory.

Nothing outlandish so far, you might well be thinking, and you'd be right - Killing Touch take very few steps out of their comfort zone. The one exception to the general rule of Power Metal catchiness is an eight-minute solo piano piece, Still Walking, which admittedly sounds awful but splits up the album well and, really, if Power Metal isn't the place for eight-minute long piano solos then what is? Most will probably skip it, but it gives the album personality and sets up the following tracks well. It's the above-average songwriting that makes One Of A Kind worthy of your attention, all in all - a great debut that suggests even better things are to come from the Italians.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
The Touch, Wheel Of Fortune, Tommy's Cane, Falling Away
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