Kaine - The Waystone (Own Album)

On the right track...
Release Date: 
31 Jul 2014 - 11:30pm

British DIY metallers Kaine set great store by the fact that they are a self-powered machine, eschewing the help of record labels to forge their own path on the road to metal glory, and that’s fine up to a point – however as they prove on this self-financed outing, sometimes a bit of help from ‘the man’ might bring a few dividends. There are a lot of good ideas on this record, but too often they come off as under-produced or poorly executed near misses when the help of a producerly ear and a few extra quid in the production department might have turned them into surefire bullseye-bothering hits. You look confused. I’ll explain further.

Opening track Iron Lady sets things up nicely enough – engagingly enthusiastic young metalheads making good with their fingers to provide headbanging thrills for all comers – but the plan comes a bit unstuck on the slower paced The New Wave, where all sorts of cracks become apparent to even the most cursory of listeners.

The main of these is the vocal performance  of (I think) main singer Rage Sadler. Being the singer in a band with a limited budget isn’t easy – very often all the studio time is taken up miking up an enormous drum kit and then getting the guitar harmonies spot on – but on tracks like New Wave and Solidarity they just don’t cut it I’m afraid, sounding weak and strained when striving to cut through the guitar and bass blitzkrieg going on around them. This is easily remedied with a bit of time and money, but at the moment it’s a real stumbling block to the progress of the band, at least as a commercially viable proposition.

But that’s a small gripe in the scheme of things, and, as I said, there’s a competitively easy fix. If we as listeners concentrate purely on the music on offer here, there’s much to enjoy. Solidarity has a nice sense of drama and dynamic and features some nice Maidenesque guitar interplay from Sadler and Anthony Murch, whilst the heavier nature of Resistance allows Sadler to spit out the lyrics in more convincing style; However instrumental Entropy (Unrelenting Chaos) sounds (a) like filler and (b) slightly clunky due to a less than sympathic production and arrangement that sounds like it was worked out in the studio at the last minute.

At the end of the day, however, Kaine are a solid British metal band who deserve your support; If you love the sound of the NWoBHM in all its unalloyed glory – there’s a very definite whiff of the glorious, simplistic naivety of 1981 around this material - then you’ll love most of what’s on offer here, whatever jaded old hacks like me have to say on the matter. And quite right too!