Kilmara – “Across The Realm Of Time” (ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records)
Battle Helm Rating
It’s been 4 years since we heard from this Spanish heavy metal band, during which time they’ve recruited a new American vocalist in Daniel Ponce and Argentinian virtuoso guitarist Miguel Laise before returning on this 4th album produced by no less than Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan, Serious Black etc)! Along with guests Jordi Longán (ex-Ipsilon) and Viktorie Surmøva ( Surmatra, Rosa Nocturna, Victorius), the album was penned by founder guitarist John Portillo along with Ponce, who together have created 10 catchy tracks some of which incorporate prog elements while others still are more epic, but together combined always feature massive amounts of tasty melody. Given that breadth, it’s easy to see why Kilmara have toured comfortably with a range of bands from Dare to Tank to Vicious Rumors, as well as playing festivals such as Rock Knights alongside Blaze Bayley and More than Fest with Cradle of Filth, Stratovarius, and Children of Bodom! With the material so rich in melody what must be mentioned is that there’s equally no lack of heaviness – indeed it’s pretty crushing on ‘The Forge’, aptly named given Javier Morillo’s massive drum and cymbal work, not to mention the heavy if still melodic riffing from the twin guitars, all of which build to the huge catchy chorus led by Ponce’s heartfelt vocals. Speeding it up on ‘Disciples’ while switching towards the guitars backed by faster bass and double bass drumming, the melodies are certainly not forgotten with lots of epic passion throughout despite the powering furore. If that wasn’t impressive enough then but what really made Kilmara stand out was their style and ambition, sometimes more subtle with the use of exotic spanish acoustic guitar on ‘Principles Of Hatred’ to the hard to ignore dominating dual male / female vocals on the ballad of ‘I Shall Rise Again’ or even the heavier ‘Out From The Darkness’, where both Ponce and Surmøva exuded tons of soul and passion, along with a more contemporary singing style that fitted remarkably well into the melodic heavy metal core of the band. For an underground band relatively unknown internationally if respected locally, “Across The Realm Of Time” will do a lot to give Kilmara some well deserved exposure hopefully as great as inherent in this wonderful album.