KÜENRING – Küenring
The Austrian underground heavy metal freaks known as Küenring recently unleashed this fairly consistent slab of fist-pumping music of theirs that brings to mind acts such as Accept, U.D.O., Primal Fear, and Judas Priest, but with a slightly more raw and gritty feel to it than the aforementioned titans. This self-titled effort contains eight energetic compositions filled with memorable riffs, pounding drums, and rumbling bass lines. The vocals are somewhat hit or miss, but they get the job done and I must say that these dudes have a pretty fucking firm grasp of how to write catchy tunes with power and conviction to them. In many ways, Küenring is a mixture of heavy metal and power metal, but quite a few thrash-like elements harkening back to the days of old also sneak into the picture and add a touch of spite and aggression to the proceedings. A touch of Destruction here, a dash of Exodus there, and…well, you get the picture.
The bottom line is that it works and that Küenring are well aware of what it takes to come up with dynamic song material. The guitar solos as well as the guitar harmonies have a Maiden-esque flair to them, which is cool, and the production is most fitting for this particular kind of old-school metal. The main problem with Küenring is that a few of the tracks lack focus and contain too many parts and sections that add absolutely nothing worthwhile to the album and instead kill the momentum. The long and mellow Autumn starts off well but turns into a repetitive bore way too quickly. Having said that, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives and although it is anything but original and nowhere near as lethal as those classic heavy metal records that we all love and cherish, it is a well-written and enjoyable slab of hard-hitting music that ought to appeal to fans of various related genres out there. It is hardly flawless and there is certainly room for improvement, but this is an impressive offering in the overall perspective and it will be interesting to see what these guys will come up with next. Support these talented headbanging Austrians now!