Starkill: Virus Of The Mind

Chicago’s symphonic shredders have a blast

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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

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.