Starkill: Virus Of The Mind

Chicago’s symphonic shredders have a blast

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Formed out of symphonic black metal crew Massakren two years ago, Starkill’s second album showcases a shredtastic amalgam of Children Of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Nevermore and Dimmu Borgir, with a focus on epic-sounding choruses, widdly-widdly solos and a range of vocal styles, from Dimmu-esque croaks to clean singing – something you won’t hear on their debut Fires Of Life.

Marked with neo-classical motifs, like the rip-roaring Into Destiny, and dramatic attacks, Virus Of The Mind is a relentless rollercoaster ride of aggression and bombast, with string and brass sections cosying up to a torrent of licks that Herman Li would be proud of, especially on the flamboyant My Catharsis. Yet it’s not all a barrage of drum-pummelling punishment: the last song on the album steps it down a notch with a crunchy doom patter and weak vocal melodies. This is a band intent on making a big splash and, despite trying to be a lot of things to a lot of people, they actually do a decent job.

Via Century Media

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.