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Review by Rick Ossian
Call them what you will – revivalists of the ‘second wave’ of British Heavy Metal, carriers of the Maiden torch, Britain’s ‘new hope for metal’ – it all sounds like promotional shite when you really get down to it. I will call them as I hear them; Kaine are a good hard rock/heavy metal band, sometimes even very good. They DO emulate Maiden, and it’s refreshing to hear a band who are proud to wear their influences on their collective sleeves. However, when a band is as derivative as Kaine can be, there will doubtless be comparisons drawn – most likely negative as well as positive. For my part, I’ve enjoyed listening to their latest (their second) recording immensely. There are refreshing bits here as well as the obvious tributaries, even a couple of surprises!
For example, opener and latest single, The Iron Lady, features a bass solo of sorts at 3:15! Now just how often, I ask you, have I reported on a bass solo? This is the first one I can remember in quite some time. In fact, no others come to mind at the moment (Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth by Metallica, Sting Of The Bumblebee by Manowar, Big Bottom by Spinal Tap, NIB by Black Sabbath… – Smart-Arse Ed!). Obviously, every bass player relishes the chance to do a little fill here and there, to show off or shine alongside their guitarist counterparts. Here bassist Dan Mailer gets his chance to be proud and then some. By the by, Dan is accompanied by Rage Sadler (guitar, vocals), Anthony Murch (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Chris MacKinnon (drums). They were formed in 2009 and hail from East Anglia. In their bio, they list their influences. You know who are at the top of that list. There are others as well, just so you know.
The New Wave (‘can’t you see the enemy?’) is another slice of NWOBHM with a tasty guitar solo at the five-and-a-half minute mark. It is a long one, coming in at just under 7 minutes. Dreams to Nightmares features a cool uptempo riff and some blasting drums. Plenty of guitars grace the air here as well. Solidarity features lots of double-bass drumming and some very nice melodic lead guitar work. Also some vocal chanting here.
Resistance, the other ‘single’, if you will, has a very cool guitar intro and more Maiden influence, should we be wondering. Entropy (Unrelenting Chaos) is an instrumental jam, and a good one, at that! The Soul Exchange is another long number, just shy of 8 minutes, and features a mellow guitar intro that turns into an even softer solo. At 1:40, Rage reminds us that this is a hard rock song (‘Lucifer’s wicked game’). To emulate the Irons is one thing, but one wonders are they reaching too hard, or too far? Is this TOO much like Maiden? I shall leave that to you, dear reader(s), to decide. One thing is for sure, these blokes can definitely jam! Of course, as they say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Wanderer is another good jam. Rage could definitely do the honours at a, oh, let’s say Revolver Golden Gods Awards show if they needed somebody to pay tribute to Bruce and company. But enough of that. The closer, the epic title track, is damn near 11-and-a-half minutes in length, and takes us through some really cool sections – movements, if you will. It starts with a very cool guitar intro, and features a different sort of piano/drum sequence that is another surprise. At the 3-minute mark, we are reminded once again that this is a song proper. There is another killer guitar solo at 8 minutes in, and a very melodic, piano-fueled musical interlude that borders on classical. All in all, I’d say that it is a good thing that Kaine wears their influences as close to their chest(s) as they do, but it may have the effect of putting off a few folks…unless of course they are Maiden fans!