UK trad metallers Kaine have been at this old-school metal game for a while now, steadily releasing albums – some good, some not so good – but always remaining keepers of the faith and brandishing their flaming sword as if their very lives depend on it. With the release of their 5th album, After Extinction, it’s not a push to state that Kaine sound somewhat re-born; more aggressive, ‘thrashier’ even (think Onslaught / Anihilated) and yet still paying homage to the classic sounds of 80s metal circa Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Riot.
Despite a tendency for lyrics that mean well but don’t quite reach the political / social commentary heights intended, Kaine are still blatantly 100% committed to the cause and that’s to be commended.
Time to critique! Maybe its just us, but we found After Extinction followed a one superior song, one inferior song pattern. When Kaine soar – as they do on “A Slave To The Grind” and “Protesting The Profit” – the results are pretty damn good. Anvil heavy, groovy and full of slick leads, these tracks are perfectly serviceable and wouldn’t see Kaine out of place on any trad metal bill. However, sandwiched in between is the clumsy “The Storm Is Coming” and any momentum stalls. The histrionic bluster of “New Age Martyr” gives the ol’ neck muscles a decent work-out and there are moments of satisfying chug in “Green To Grey” but, overall, there’s a little too much miss and not enough hit. This pattern continues throughout After Extinction but there are gold nuggets to sieve through, should you have your pan to hand.
You get the sense that Kaine have the tenacity to keep churning out metal albums long after most of us have left this mortal coil. And, with just a little less filler, they’d be seriously on to something! 6/10
Kaine‘s After Extinction was released independently on September 19th, 2022 – nip over to bandcamp and check it out for yourselves.