Eight years after Music For The Recently Deceased, I Killed The Prom Queen make their return proper with a new(ish) singer and what is their finest work to date. Guitarist Jona Weinhofen has come up with some of the most scorching, Sweden-indebted metalcore anthems you’re likely to hear in 2014.
Yes, much of IKTPQ’s repertoire is still shamelessly plundered from material the likes of Dark Tranquillity were messing about with over a decade ago, and Beloved is not a perfect triumph – Jona’s backing vocals aren’t always convincing given how effortlessly Jamie Hope has slid into the frontman role – but there’s a step up in terms of songwriting and production that’s given the band a new lease of life.
The likes of Thirty One & Sevens and Melinor sound like Amon Amarth injected with 21st-century breakdowns, while Calvert Street is a refreshing mash-up of Soilwork’s Chainheart Machine and Natural Born Chaos eras.
The influences are familiar, but this is an affirmation that IKTPQ have come back frighteningly strong.