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Kill II This – Variant – Album Review

UK metal fans may remember well the late 90’s / early 00’s industrial metal meets nu-metal wranglings of Manchester’s Kill II This who, for a short time there, found themselves fulfilling many a high profile support slot (Fear Factory, Slipknot, Machine Head, Megadeth, Soulfly and more) and building quite the underground following in the process. However, following the release of 2003’s Mass. [Down.]-Sin (Drone.), the band downed tools and 21 years would pass before they finally returned with their 5th album, Variant, an album that finds the band firing on all cylinders and forging forward with a new found power and confidence.

After the quick-fire intro of “Messianic War” sets the scene, “Less Human” kicks things off proper and finds Kill II This throwing industrial, hard rock and progressive metal ingredients into the mix. Less steady hands would find this melding of often disparate styles difficult to balance, but Kill II This have always been more than capable of making this shit work and when the industo-chug meets hard rock propulsion of “Deus” kicks in, you’ll be applauding them for not only their tenacity but their skill in bringing this style of accessible yet often caustic metal kicking and screaming into the present day.

With Variant ironically spending much of the last decade in various states of form, it’s perhaps no surprise that the album released in 2024 includes tracks which have long been in gestation (“ComaKarma”, “Sleepercell”) and have now been finessed and adapted to suit the Kill II This that stands before now us. In particular, the aforementioned “Sleepercell” showcases the often soaring vocals of Simon Gordon (ex-Xentrix, ex-City Of God) to their full – and packs a whopper of a chorus to boot – while we found ourselves irresistibly drawn to “Heart Shaped Grenade”, a track which captures the kind of cyber-thrash intensity that made 1998’s Deviate so damn addictable.

Not without its faults – “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, despite its appealing death metal-esque excursions into heavier vocal terrain, and “Fugues of Amnesia” failed to fully hit the spot for us – it was ultimately pleasing to discover that Kill II This‘ return was no mere nostalgia trip and, with Variant in their arsenal, they are more than ready to re-establish their place in the UK metal scene. We, for one, are very happy they’re back! 7/10

Kill II ThisVariant was released on May 10th 2024 via Revolver Music Ltd.

About Chris Jennings (1985 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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