Kinetic - "The Chains That Bind Us" 2004 Sleaszy Rider Records --EC
1. Into The Nightmare 2. Realms Of Nightmare 3. Engaging Web 4. Never Ending Winter 5. Hate Master 6. Holy Instinct 7. Free And Pure 8. Heed These Words 9. Message From Beyond 10. Life Faded 11. Last Call For Reaction Bonus - Never Ending Winter Video
Greece seems to be the next big thing for me right now. Through the years it seems my listening has navigated across the globe, from the frigid cold enviroment of Finland to the windmills of Holland, I've tried to explore each country's individual contribution to the metal universe. The middle part of last year I connected with the movement in Greece, always being a true believer of the White Skull way of thought, but with key releases from the likes of Power Crue, Dreamweaver, and Lost Fate, Greece has become a hot bed of fine metal activity. Now I am introduced to Kinetic, a unique and fine establishment hailing from Athens. This band may be the final piece of evidence for me, proving that the mythological landscape is indeed a magical breeding ground for talented axe gods and fire breathing metal monsters.
Kinetic was formed in 2002 from the ashes of several underground acts. The band is made up of Stavros Bonikos on lead and rhythm guitars (ex-Brain Fade), Konstandinos Alexakis on drums (ex-Wisdom), Savvas Betinis on bass/lead vocals (ex-Acid Death), and Manolis Mamas on second strings (ex-Brain Fade). With names that are more than a moutful, Kinetic embark on a huge, bombastic style of metal ranging from old school blistering thrash to the soaring leads of power metal's finest. With the group's debut album, "The Chains That Bind Us", Kinetic showcase an amazing and raw ability to play intricate and absorbing heavy metal blazing with energy and a true passion for metal's founding fundamentals. My beloved readers at home, this may be one of the better thrash groups I have heard in quite some time!
The best way to give you more for your money is to run a quick play by play. I'll run through a brief description of each cut, in turn dishing out the band's goods and allowing you, the reader, to better understand what makes Kinetic so damn interesting to me. So, with no further ramblings from me, I present to you "The Chains That Bind Us":
1. "Into The Nightmare" - An atmospheric opener that starts with some horror movie styled elements. This reminds me of Nightmare On Elm Street or Hellraiser.
2. "Realms Of Nightmare" - Great way to kick start the record, Kinetic blast away with speed and velocity. Pounding double bass from Alexakis leading into a catchy chorus that could have been lifted from mid-era Rage. Two minutes in Bonikos and Mamas connect on some twin guitar fury. Excellent opener with tons of catchy hooks, ripping groove, and amazing leads.
3. "Engaging Web" - More titanic twin guitar leads into another fine stab at German thrash metal. Groups like Squealer and Perzonal War come to mind when hearing this track. Vocalist Betinis drifts into the stomping grounds of death metal here.
4. "Never Ending Winter" - Thrashy power metal runs rampant here, showing off the band's ability to combine earthshattering speed with harmony and melody. Forget about today's deathcore bands ripping off Gothenburg history, Kinetic do it the right way by making it their own and remembering the 80s roots. Huge leads break in around the 2:30 mark.
5. "Hate Master" - Some atmospheric elements are found here, with some background keys. This is just a short instrumental leading into the next song.
6. "Holy Instinct" - Doomy groove slabs mixed in with speed metal. Alexakis plays madman behind the drum kit here. Great song from start to finish.
7. "Free And Pure" - German thrash bands like Delirious, Warhead, and Wardog creep into the band's idealogy with this cut. Fast double bass and monster chops from Bonikos and Mamas. Like previous cuts the leads kick in around the two minute mark. Excellent song structure.
8. "Heed These Words" - Power metal antics play through on this rough and ready tumble. Huge stomp riffs dominate with some more death metal rumbles from the diverse throat of Betinis.
9. "Message From Beyond" - Alexakis and Betinis form a tight battery leading into a twin guitar firestorm from Bonikos and Mamas. This is probably one of the fastest cuts on the record. Melodic hooks dominate the chorus. One of the highlights of the entire album!
10. "Life Faded" - Bass solo to start things off before kicking in with a strong hard rock riff loaded with punchy lead playing. No vocals on this cut though, but this plays as an entertaining instrumental.
11. "Last Call For Reaction" - Huge Megadeth vibe from the start with some Swedish death metal styled riffs mixed into the chorus. A fine closer to an amazing record.
So there you have it, the play by play action brought to life through the words of your very own color commentator, the mouth-of-the South, EC. It is this type of sound that really drove me into the underground of Germany digging up hard to find treasures from the likes of Perzonal War, Wardog, Squealer, Warhead, and Delirious. At times Kinetic play like a really good Bay area band, at other times the group hit their stride with some mighty power metal elements. As a whole this record does not dissapoint whatsoever. From start to finish it is a bombshell with a huge impact. Hopefully the band will break new ground here and find themselves on a bigger label that can properly promote them. Greece has a huge winner on their hands with Kinetic. Let the chains bind you...
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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