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Kinlin

The Last Stand

Review by Gary Hill

This act creates a brand of modern heavy metal this is tied to old-school stuff, but stretches that sound out quite a bit. There is a definite alternative rock edge here. These guys can play it fierce and furious, or mellow it down for a change. They also seem to understand that you have to change tempo and intensity from song to song to keep it interesting. A lot of bands these days don't understand that basic principle. This album is a strong one. It's recommended to fans of real steel who like some modern edges to the sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wake Up
Drums lead us out here. It launches out into an alternative rock meets metal kind of concept from there. This is a hot stomper that works really well. It gets a bit of a parental advisory on the lyrics. I like the bridge with its staccato pattern and distorted, distant vocals. The guitar solo that rises up beyond that is quite meaty and gets rather technical before it ends. In some ways that section isn't all that far removed from Dream Theater.
The Last Stand
Melodic metal merges with alternative rock on this screaming hot tune. Again there is some exceptional guitar work on this rocker. It almost leans towards an epic metal kind of sound in some ways.
Forever And A Day
Acoustic guitar brings this into being. It works forward with some intricate picking. From there they work out to more of an AOR rocker. It drops for the vocals and this feels like a power-ballad that might have come out in the 1980s. It's melodic and effective. This is quite a dynamic tune with powered up sounds that aren't far removed from epic metal alternating with those power ballad ones.
Unthinkable
This comes in super-heavy and thrash oriented. It's a fierce stomper that's definitely more of a modern metal cut than the previous one was. This makes me think of classic Metallica in some ways. It's screaming hot and manages to have some fairly catchy vocal hooks. There is definitely a bit of a NWOBHM edge to this in some ways, too. The guitar solo brings a real technical metal edge to this whole thing.
Lost Memories
The contrast in this piece is pretty stark. There are mellower sections of this that call to mind epic metal and even prog rock. The alternating sections are fierce, thrashing and definitely extreme metal. Around the three minute mark it explodes out into a killer metal jam.
Monday Rain
I can make out some Motley Crue in this along with some Alice Cooper. The more melodic sections, though lean toward epic metal. This number gets a bit technical on some of the instrumental breaks, too.
Stand Or Fall
There is a mean kind of melodic metal sound to this. It's a screaming hot real steel type of number. NWOBHM sounds are present on this along with some more modern elements. For instance I can make out some definite technical metal here. All in all, this is another powerhouse tune. The soaring jam later in the track is particularly melodic and tasty.
Suffer And Pray
Here we get another rocker that's part metal and part alternative rock. This is diverse and has some great hooks. Yet, it's also crunchy enough to land under metal. There are definitely melodic elements at its heart.
Leap Of Faith
The melodic metal concepts are all over this number. It really reaches upward toward the  stars with some of its power metal stylings.
Let Go
Some parts of this make me think of a metal Van Halen. This is another with some alternative rock built into it. The groove on this is infectious. The tune is both mean and melodic in decent dosages.
Blood Of Our Fathers
The soaring melodic guitar work on this piece is exceptional. The number is probably equal parts alternative rock and heavy metal. The acoustic guitar sections are classy. At almost eight minutes in length, this is a mini-epic. They use that space to bring a lot of diversity to it. There is a cool guitar with spoken vocals segment added on at the end of the piece.
Live Again
Another screaming hot stomper, this does a good job of combining the alternative rock and metal concepts that have been a familiar marriage throughout the disc. I love some of the fiery guitar soloing on this. They also manages to turn things technical at times. There is thrash, melodic metal, technical stuff and more built into this number. It makes for a very effective closer.
 
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