Killing Touch – One Of A Kind
One Of A Kind
Hands up if you love Michelle Luppi! You just can’t deny his beautiful tone and flawless range. Undoubtedly one of the premier power metal talents, his work with Vision Divine ranks amongst some of the best the genre has to offer. Obviously it is old news that he left the awesome Vision Divine, and after leaving I’m sure I’m not alone in worrying that he would waste his talents jobbing for AOR acts. Fortunately, Killing Touch’s 2009 debut seen him return to what he did best, Italian power metal (go on, say it out loud in an Italian accent).
Killing Touch seemed ridiculously promising from the get go, and while it is a shame that the promise wasn’t fully realised (I’ll touch on that later, ho ho ho) One Of A Kind is definitely a worthy addition to any Euro power metal aficionado’s collection. From the starting line, I can safely say fans of Michelle Luppi needn’t worry about reading on, get this and sail on to Luppi heaven. For everyone else, I’ll take you on a trip through bad puns and rubbish references, let’sa go.
One Of A Kind starts off very well, and I can happily say that the first half of the album is rather godly. The group obviously takes a lot of cues from Vision Divine, the band has that definite Italian progressive power metal sound pioneered by Labyrinth so long ago. Killing Touch kicks off with the imaginatively titled “The Touch”, which you’ll be pleased to know isn’t a cover of Stan Bush’s soundtrack to Optimus Prime kicking can, but actually a brilliant slice of progressively tinged power metal, wasting no time in getting Michelle’s voice into the foreground. However, the following “Wheel Of Fortune” is where the party is at, with stupendous vocal lines, and a chorus I defy you not to do your best Michelle Luppi impersonation to.
We see the band take their first dip in “Mimicking Death”, a fairly pedestrian track and unfortunately a bit of a buzz killer. However, after a quick bash of the skip button we’re on the highway to “The Danger Zone” (I promise I’ll stop with the 80’s references), which is pure unadulterated Italian power metal magic. Following this we have a nicely done ballad and the sublime “Tommy’s Cane” which is an clear highlight. Sadly the album takes a little bit of a nose dive after this.
An eight minute piano piece!? Are they having a laugh? This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve ever witnessed in killing the flow of an album. I’ll be honest in saying I usually reach for something else by this point. Which is a shame as there is the awesome “Falling Away”, which comes later in the album, and a double shame that it is surrounded by mostly filler. Tracks such as “Justify” aren’t bad per seb but they lack the magic touch that killers such as “Wheel Of Fortune” or “The Danger Zone” boasted.
So all in all, One Of A Kind is a good but uneven release, and at over an hour in length its definitely a bit too much. This could have been a solid four had it trimmed a good fifteen minutes or so of the fat. Luckily, the good songs really cook and are well worth a listen. The production is vibrant and the performances are great, Luppi sounds fabulous, and the lead guitar playing is particularly well done and tasteful. Whilst not a patch on any of the Vision Divine releases, this is still worth a couple of listens, and you’ll definitely want to keep a few of the tracks for playlists.
Chris’ Rating: 3.5 out of 5