Kill Division – Peace Through Tyranny Review

2022 may just go down as a banner year for grind, peppered with quality releases. Although it can be overlooked, grind can also be deceptively diverse, illustrated by the shifting styles of some of the genre’s big hitters in 2022. The debut album from Kill Division tackles grind from an old school perspective, delivered by a seasoned group of musicians, including members of Gruesome, Inhuman Condition, those who have logged time in Malevolent Creation, and former Soilwork and current Megadeth drummer, Dirk Verbeuren. Quite a pedigree of well-established and respected metal musicians, keen on invoking the spirit of old school, meat and potatoes grind, inspired by early Napalm Death, Terrorizer, and Lock Up. Despite their profile, can this star-studded line-up deliver the goods to match the cream of the grind crop in an action-packed year?

Peace Through Tyranny plays largely as expected, based on the band’s mission statement of paying homage to the genre’s early years, albeit through a cleaner, modern lens. The material is a lovingly crafted throwback that hits most of the right spots through accomplished musicianship, a punky edge, and short, sharp songs loaded with solid riffs, caffeinated energy, tight blasts, and an accessible, catchy streak. Kill Division manage to pull a swift double act, the seasoned collective laying down their feisty old school grind with youthful exuberance, coupled with a wise and grizzled authority. The eleven songs blast by in quick time, clocking in at 24 minutes, aptly concluding with a solid cover of Terrorizer‘s “Barely Alive.”

Peace Through Tyranny is not designed to innovate or reinvent the wheel, however, Kill Division succeed in their mission to glorify the early days of grind through their own slick, modern interpretation, with solidly entertaining results. The accessible, compact nature of the album makes for a comfortable listen with the potential to reel in listeners generally opposed to grind. While the songs are swift in length, Kill Division avoid blasting through each tune in record time, reducing any pressure to cram excess ideas into sub-minute beatings. It also allows for songwriting dynamics to shine through, courtesy of more measured tempos, chunky grooves, or deathly beatdowns, exemplified on the sample-laden punch and grind of “Thin the Herd,” or the thick, curb stomping grooves of “Freak.” In all honesty, there are no major issues or subpar tunes, even if Kill Division play it a little too safe and lack a true ‘wow factor.’

The earlier album throes feature material that is more fleshed out in length, exploring groovier, deathgrind territory, featuring some Misery Index vibes. However, while the first half is solid, I would argue the second half of the album is more explosive, containing numerous sharp, nuggetty grind bombs, such as, the blistering “Rise Against,” punk-grind fireball “Cultists,” and frantically brutal assault of “Battle Scarred Creation.” The ripping riffs and punishing grooves of Hatred Inspired” is another standout. Although Kill Division play their classic grindcore pretty straight, they do so with precision musicianship, oodles of gritty attitude, and moments of tongue-in-cheek humor (check the goofy “all hail Megatron!” bellow on the title track). Meanwhile, the musicianship is top-notch, displaying the band’s experience, chemistry and passion for old timey grind. While the production is polished, it packs plenty of beef, while Verbeuren’s enthusiastic, quality drumming also features an endearingly old school snare sound for good measure.

A high-profile act paying homage to a particular style is often fraught with danger of playing it too close to the source material. Kill Division skirt close to derivation, without succumbing to mere tribute status. Overall, Peace Through Tyranny is a relentlessly fun and catchy ride. And while it doesn’t bust boundaries, it busts skulls, and does so with modern refinement that perhaps lacks in filthy aesthetics, but gets the point across through taut, crunchy riffs and passionate performances. Old school grind freaks will get a particular kick out of Peace Through Tyranny, it’s a solidly enjoyable addition to the 2022 grind canon.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Websites: killdivision.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/killdivisiongrind
Releases Worldwide: September 16th, 2022

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