Killed by Cain – Killed by Cain [Retroarchives Edition]

posted in: January 2018, Music Review | 1

We all probably remember how the 90s produced a massive amount of bands that put out one album and then disappeared. One would assume that quality was a factor in the lack interest in many of those bands, and that would be a good assumption in most cases. However, Killed by Cain was the exception to this assumption. When their self-titled debut album was released in 1993 on R.E.X. Music, some compared their sound to Guns N’ Roses meets Metallica (or Pantera or Sepultura, depending on how deep their metal knowledge went). That is fair starting point. In the Christian world, this was “converted” into Bride meets The Crucified on the front cover promo sticker… which is not a good description at all. Back in the day, I was instantly hooked on the sound Killed by Cain created. Pummeling riffs melding with slick grooves all over the place. But I remember that me and the only other person I ever knew that liked the album had the same problem with it: the sound was muddy, muddy, muddy. Like listening with actual mudballs stuck in your ears. I don’t know if it was the mix or the mastering or what, but we used to lament that it needed a sonic improvement someday… realizing that day would probably never come because they didn’t quite “make it.” Luckily, we were wrong on that front… because here we are in 2017 with Retroactive Records re-issuing one of my favorite unknown bands. Of course, the big question is: did they improve the sound, or was it too mucked up to even make it worth the effort? I admit that some re-issues just clean-up bad sonic quality material and the results are mixed at best. With this remaster job, my verdict is: pedal to the metal! The mix is clean and improved, without sounding like they had to cut out the low end to deal with muddiness. Although, I have to point out that you actually have to listen through a real stereo or decent headphones to actually appreciate that difference – no ear buds! My musical tastes have expanded into more mellow and alternative music since 1993, but this album still scratches an itch for loud music that has its own sound. It is also shorter than I remember it – 10 songs, with one of them being an intro – seemed longer back in 1993. But as I would have said back then (if I had noticed): all killer, no filler! Oh, and this album is also getting the vinyl treatment as well! Hope I can swing that someday with so much great vinyl coming out. Also, keep your eye out for their demo collection album – they used to be a more straight-forward metal band called White Ray that put out several popular demos in the tape trading underground. Retroactive Records is putting that collection out in the near future as well.

[2017 Retroactive Records | Purchase:]


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