KINRICK – Sense Your Darkness

KINRICK - Sense Your Darkness


Leviathan Records
Release date: March 29, 2005

Guitars: A-
Bass: A-
Percussion: A-
Vocals: C
Lyrics: B
Recording Quality: A-
Originality: B
Overall Rating: B+

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Kinrick is the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter extraordinaire David T. Chastain, and his Leviathan Records label … and although Chastain is credited with writing all of the material for Kinrick’s debut Sense Your Darkness album, he doesn’t perform at all on any of the songs! Instead, Chastain was successful in locating and pairing together ex-Firewind vocalist Stephen Fredrick and Vainglory guitarist Corbin King to head up the band. Kinrick, the name, is the clever result of merging the last names of these 2 individuals. The other members of Kinrick are Stian Kristoffersen, bludgeoning the drums (Pagan’s Mind), and James Martin, wielding the bass (Zanister).

Musically, this album is as good as it gets, and simply has it all … the style is generally Traditional Metal, built around King’s thick, driving, bass-emphasized, angry-sounding power chords, with a few elements of Progressive Metal in the guitar solos and drumming mixed into their work. The result is a fresh, yet familiar, musical style that certainly grabs your attention and gets the adrenaline flowing from the opener, “Call Of Honor,” to and through the final cut and title track, “Sense Your Darkness.” Fredrick’s vocal style is unique, to say the least … if you haven’t heard him sing before with Firewind, you’ll find that you’re probably either going to love or hate his vocal approach – his style on this album is kind of a cross between WASP’s Blackie Lawless and KISS’s Gene Simmons. He delivers a very consistent performance throughout the CD, but doesn’t have the prototypical wide dynamic range to his voice that is more often than not customary when considering the Traditional Metal style. Whether or not Frederick’s vocal performance strikes your fancy or turns you off, the power behind Kinrick’s music, without a doubt, stands strong regardless.

Sense Your Darkness contains 10 tracks (45 minutes), and all of them are solid. Topically, the lyrical themes behind the songs generally deal with Chastain invoking a call to arms, of sorts, to Metalheadz everywhere to fight for the oppressed and downtrodden of this world, and to stand up against the “forces that continue to cause injustice and repression.” One could definitely conclude that the lyrical feel of this album is indeed hostile, although Chastain wisely doesn’t go overboard in that direction, which likely would have caused the CD to lose many of its melodic undertones and overall enjoyableness.

Although all of the songs are good, “Call Of Honor,” “Throughout All Time,” “I Fight Alone,” “Dressed Up As God,” “Stand Up And Fight,” and “For Your Evil” rise slightly above the other tracks, mostly because of King’s guitar playing, which is particularly innovative within these songs. In addition to King’s outstanding performance, Kristoffersen offers a stellar show too on the skins, adding a twist to the otherwise “conventional” sound of King and Martin. In “Throughout All Time,” for example, Kristoffersen’s ability and influence on the music of Kinrick is particularly noticeable via his intricate double-bass drumbeat. Martin’s bass play is very noteworthy too, and he’s really successful in rounding out the deep-toned sound aspect of the band. Couple all of this with stellar production quality, and you indeed have a true winning combination.

All in all, if you like a power approach to your Metal with plenty of guitar and bass work driving the music (and who doesn’t?), this Kinrick album is a release you should definitely check out. Musically, you’re not going to find anything much better this year … so the real key comes down to your impression of and appetite for Fredrick’s vocal style and abilities. You’re not going to hear Halford-like range exuded from Fredrick’s vocal chords on this album, but the innovative musicianship, solid song structure, and impressive production quality more than make up for that potential shortcoming, resulting in one of the more solid CDs thus far in 2005!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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