Sound — 7
Assembling some of the metal music genre's most predominant available talents, Kill Devil Hill is one of the latest supergroups to proudly march onto the scene. The band boasts an impressive cast, comprised of bassist Rex Brown previously of Pantera and Down; percussion master Vinny Appice from Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell; Dewey Bragg, former lead vocalist for groove metal group Pissing Razors; and guitarist Mark Zavon, who previously played in a handful of small, up-and-coming bands but made a strong name for himself on Kill Devil Hill's self-titled debut studio album, which surfaced earlier last year. Kill Devil Hill's debut was an impressive way to introduce fans of each band member's previous projects. By boldly composing a sound which fell somewhere in between Ronnie James Dio-fronted Black Sabbath, where Vinny Appice made such a strong name for himself as a percussionist by filling in the shoes of Bill Ward, to the crunching sound of Pantera and even a little early Alice In Chains influence thrown in for good measure. For the better part of 2012, Kill Devil Hill toured rigorously alongside another renowned metal supergroup, Adrenaline Mob, spreading the word about their newly released album, and by doing so attracted an impressive sized following. When Kill Devil Hill finally disembarked from the touring bus, their members took a quick stretch break before heading straight back into the studio to work on their sophomore studio effort, which just recently made it's way onto the streets. "Revolution Rise" shows Kill Devil Hill getting into the groove of actually being in a metal supergroup. While their debut album was in all rights a good introduction, the second time around there are some strong differences within the band's songwriting and musical chemistry, thankfully for the better. When you have such formidable names in metal coming together and forming a new band, especially with members from multiple different sub genres, there can be some confusion as to which direction they should collectively take and what sound they should embrace. Some of that confusion seemed to have found it's way onto Kill Devil Hill's debut album, but with "Revolution Rise" we have a band who appears to have fallen into a strong groove, a band who after recording their first album together and ran through one tour on the road are more comfortable creatively with each other and are creating some even stronger music. Songs such as "Crown of Thorns" and "Why?" are prime examples of the members of Kill Devil Hill truly in their element, allowing one another to stand out without having any one section taking away your attention from the rest of the composition. Some more apparent grunge overtones are evident on "Why?", but add more to the song than one would initially expect. "No Way Out" is the opening track off of the album, and wouldn't dare waste any time with slow introductions: not when you have Zakk Wylde waiting patiently on the sidelines to deliver an electrifying solo halfway through the cut.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Dewey Bragg gives an exceptional performance on Kill Devil Hill's sophomore studio effort. With so many groups who have an impressive percussion section and a strong lead guitarist, more often than not with the latest metal groups you have a lead vocalist who does nothing but blatantly scream into the microphone, drowning out the majority of the would-be captivating instrumental work. While it does take talent in order to give that type of vocal performance, it rarely works out in the best interest of the entire song. With Dewey Bragg, we don't need to worry about him stealing the show. His impressive operatic style flows well alongside Vinny Appice's percussion work and the group's rhythm section, and is placed just right within the album mix so it catches your attention.
Overall Impression — 8
Some things are better the second time around. In the case of Kill Devil Hill, this couldn't be truer. With their second studio album "Revolution Rise," Kill Devil Hill have started to move towards finding their own unique sound. The chemistry appears to be flowing better than ever before, which comes with experience writing together and performing live on tour. In my opinion any metal fan should feel right at home with this new album, but some of the more standout tracks include "No Way Out" and "Why?" and are at least worth a quick listen to see if the band catches your fancy.