|It's not easy to say what catches the listener's attention first on Kill Devil Hill, the debut album by the newly formed band of the same name: the strong guitar hooks, the killer grooves, the dynamic production or the potent vocal melodies. Rex Brown, bassist of this supergroup and erstwhile member of Pantera and Down sees Kill Devil Hill in its entirety as an extremely exciting new band "To me, this band is a musical adventure trip", he reckons. Brown knows what he's talking about, after all he was involved in some of the most important rock and metal recordings of the past 30 years. So if Brown can hardly contain his enthusiasm, there must be something special to the Kill Devil Hill phenomenon.
The self-titled debut album has been scheduled for release on May 22nd on SPV Records. In a number of different formats (CD, LP, iTunes) and presents a band which forms an amazingly homogeneous unit of masters and fresh talent. Along with Rex, Kill Devil Hill consists of drum monster Vinny Appice (formerly drummer with Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven And Hell), guitar virtuoso Mark Zavon and Dewey Bragg, a formerly unknown vocalist who, you don't have to have second sight to predict, is at the beginning of an outstanding career. There can be no doubt that the future of this exceptional group is as promising as the sound on Kill Devil Hill, their debut CD.
In 2009 Vinny had found the perfect guitarist in Zavon, who was also looking to start a new band. Zavon played a demo he had recorded with vocalist Dewey Bragg, and Vinny was floored. "Dewey has a fantastic sound, and has the perfect voice and image for this new band." Dewey is also a master of melody, with the gift of enhancing even the most jagged arrangements with his haunting vocals, Rex Brown and Vinny Appice have been friends for many years. "Vinny is a brilliant drummer, and of course, I was immediately interested when he asked me whether I wanted to play bass on a demo tape he was working on." said Brown. Brown was sent "War Machine", an aggressive up tempo tune which really gets down to business, and is the opener of the new CD. Rex's bass was the missing piece of the puzzle. His "on 11 at all times" bass style was a perfect fit, and completed the powerful rhythm section.
The CD's strong numbers such as "Hangman", "War Machine", "Rise From The Shadows" and "Up In Flames" feature contemporary and classic metal elements in equal measures, combining old-school and new perfectly. The great potential that this new band has is obvious, that special spark which draws the listener in and keeps them listening is unmistakable. "This is a phenomenon which we also noticed during our first shows in front of a live audience." says Brown. Kill Devil Hill played their first gig back in April 2011, followed by a 5-week tour in October to test audience reactions. Without relying on the familiarity of Black Sabbath or Pantera covers, the band was able to win over audiences after just the first few songs. "We've never experienced that with a band at such an early stage." Appice and Brown agree.
Kill Devil Hill's strength is clear, they are an outstanding band who have written a brilliant album featuring powerful songs, and will be a musical force to be reckoned with for years to come.