KRAGENS - Infight

Kragens - Infight

9 songs
46:57 minutes
***** ****
Thundering / Locomotive


As far as I can remember, it hasn’t happened yet that two different labels sent us the same album to review. Kragens, a French metal band, is distributed by Thundering Records in their home country, but Locomotive Records take care that the rest of the world can also lay their hands on this noble piece of music. Formed in the early millennium, some band members have musical histories looking as far back as into the Eighties, and therefore it only comes partially as a surprise that the first impression I had was one of early Metal Church with David Wayne who left this world too soon. The surprise is that I have rarely heard a French band sound so American, and apart from some very occasional accent mishaps, this could come across as any great power metal album released between the late Eighties and the mid-Nineties.

Vocalist Renaud Espeche is a true master, and apart from the aforementioned late Wayne and Nevermore’s Warrel Dane, I can’t think of any heavy metal vocalist with such a powerful voice. The music is mostly carried by the excellent dual guitar work, and the production is out to slap you nearly unconscious. Hardly will you get a break on the band’s third album Infight, except for the more than eight minute long half-ballad The Falling Man which sounds like a crossbreed between Queensr˙che’s cult classic Take Hold Of The Flame and prime period Metallica guitar shredding.

Kragens won’t win a prize for originality with Infight, but their strict adherence to the virtues of power thrash metal with enough melody to make this also a worthwhile effort for general metal fans guarantees three quarters of an hour of excellent entertainment, produced excellently and giving hope that there are still some inspired bands out to get you. Probably the best French metal album I have come across in a long, long time.

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