Kilgora - Welcome to the Black Void (Romulus X Records)

What happened when an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Norwegian walked into a bar in Phuket?


Billed as an international 'mango' metal band residing in Thailand, multinational outfit Kilgora have been causing quite a stir on the internet radio scene in the last three or four months garnering much playage all over the world with their grungy brand of hard rock.

Welcome… is a supremely well-played and well produced album, weaving together all the best bits that hard rock and metal has had to offer over the last quarter of a century into a coherent whole that hangs together nicely, driven by the powerful vocals of Jon-Egil Ramslie (who also provides meaty guitar work). Ramslie is ably supported by the lithe rhythm section that is Huwy Williams (drums) and Stephan Audiger (bass), the three combining spectacularly on tracks like the excellent Black Void to provide driving, compelling shards of heaviness shot through with enough melody to keep you coming back time and again.

You’ve got to be pretty light on your feet as a trio to pull off  material like this, and Kilgora have enough grasp of dynamics and pacing to get around the slightly one-paced nature of some of the material here, always knowing when to go off piste and do smething that snags the attention just when it might be wandering off elsewhere. Ramslie’s marvellous solo in the middle of Brand New Day is a case in point, erupting fluidly out of the dark and foreboding grunge before setting the song back on it’s way accompanied by your renewed interest. 

Dead Inside motors along in fine style thanks to some furiously upbeat basswork from Frenchman Audiger, but it’s the supremely radio friendly neo-grunge of God Complex that’s going to get most tongues wagging on …Void. A quite superb song, this would be causing real earworm problems in your neighbourhood if the right people get to hear it – radio programmers ahoy!

In fact, there’s no reason why any of this album shouldn’t be being heard on public transport systems all over  the place now, such is its top notch fusion of crushing metallian sensibilities  and populist hook mayhem. Bound to appeal to the masses yet still retaining its underground cred, it’s hard to see how Welcome to the Black Void can fail. 

Welcome to the Black Void is out Now.