Killitorous – The Afterparty Review

Yep. That’s a band name. Killitorous. Say it a couple times and soon you’ll see what they did there. Tasteful, right? I’ll be honest, it took me way too long to find it (ayyyy), but by that point I was already four listens into the Canadian supergroup’s sophomore record The Afterparty and was having too much fun to care about the silly double-entendre anymore. After all, we did give high marks to bands with such respectable names as Fvneral Fvkk and Shitfucker, right? So who am I to judge? Furthermore, just like the most recent outings by those bands so appropriately named, Killitorous‘ latest turns out to be a pretty killer platter, too!

The band, made up of guitarists Aaron “Shredder” Homma (Annihilator) and Nick “Thriller” Miller (First Fragment), drummer Eric Morotti of Suffocation, bassists Marc Roy and Xavier Sperdouklis, and vocalist Mathieu Dhani, offer up tech-death that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but which poses a serious threat to the titans of the genre. Helping out with Killitorous‘ plan for world domination, contributions abound from an extensive roster of high-profile guests, who I list in the following footnovel.1 Thankfully, the Canadian sextet dole out the type of tech-death that avoids extraneous wankery in exchange for machine-gun riffs that bring to mind Gojira and Cattle Decapitation, solos that smack of the neoclassical playbook as used by Fleshgod Apocalypse on their inimitable Oracles, vocals that recall Infant Annihilator or AngelMaker, and an adventurous songwriting spirit that resembles Parius‘. In a word, The Afterparty pummels. Wear a cup and a helmet.

Skipping the obligatory intro track, opener proper “Married with Children” grooves and swaggers it’s way into your cranium at breakneck speeds, not unlike the openers for Inferi‘s last couple of records. I can imagine clearly the destruction wrought by this track in a live setting, and the vivid nature of the scenario conjured so easily just shows how well structured and executed it is. As the record moves through the cheeky “Roger Dangerfield of Dreams” and the deathcore stylings of “Eat Your God Alive,” I recognize this album as the happy medium between technical proficiency and engaging songwriting. Nothing in these three songs will necessarily stick in the brain as indelibly as they would in a world where this was a newfangled musical revolution. Nevertheless, I thrum with anticipation as one track ends and the next begins, because I know exactly what’s coming up and I want to hear it again. Turns out that this effect lasts for the entirety of the record. The band refuses to regurgitate ideas and instead throws curveballs like it’s their job. Who among us would expect a technical death metal song to segue into honky-tonk country and then smash them together with wild abandon? Not I, but Killitorous do just that in late highlight “Insanity is a Pathway to Fame and Fortune: The Tyrannical Tirades of Mike Tyson.”2

Of course, exploration often involves some measure of danger, and Killitorous certainly fall for a few booby traps in this tech-laden wilderness. “30 Minutes” doubles down on deathgrind riffing, using a foundation of Exocrine note progressions upon which to build. Unfortunately, the song, while adeptly performed, feels reserved in relation to the majority of the material offered here, and suffers for it. “Total Protonic Reversal” similarly fails to exude that x-factor, but that’s likely due to the excessive use of samples in the first quarter. In fact, the entire album relies too heavily on samples to express the level of humor that bands like Parius managed to do with less. Which brings me to the biggest gripe I harbor for The Afterparty. Ten-minute closer “King Diamond Dallas Page” is solid, if by-the numbers, tech-death—for about five minutes. After that, the song fades away and in it’s place come five more minutes of what sounds like a pull-string clown toy laughing. Nah, bruh. Cut that shit out.

To be fair, Killitorous are still young. Pedigree of the constituents notwithstanding, I expect time to smooth out the rough spots that blemish the band’s sonic surface. Two or so more years of concentrated effort on making each and every moment shine, and reducing samples by 40%. That’s all Killitorous needs to bodyslam the technical death metal genre into the mat with prejudice. Until then, enjoy The Afterparty!

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Tentacles Industries
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 22nd, 2020

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Dan Mongrain (Voivod/Martyr), Riley McShane (Allegaeon), Leo Diensthuber (Divine Realm), Cody Ford (Soen), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous), Youri Raymond (Unhuman), Callum Clark (Ending Tyranny), Paul Ablaze (Blackguard), Matt McGachy (Cryptopsy), Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager (ex-Obscura), Gore Lussier (Erimha), Bob Katsionis (Firewind), Steven Henry (Neuraxis)
  2. Did they let Fiona Apple name this one? The world may never know…
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