Killen Killen (Hot Metal Records) 1987

1.     Scream in the Night (3:57)
2.     Challenge of Eternity (7:01)
3.     The Marauder (6:10)
4.     Soldiers in Steel (6:34)
5.     Victima (4:47)
6.     Stricken by Darkness (3:43)
7.     Metal Meets Metal (4:18)
8.     Beyond the Gates of Purgatorious (5:41)
9.     Killeness (Blandus Interitus) [instrumental] (3:09)

I've had people tell me how great this Killen record is. It's a major rarity and original pressings of the record sell for crazy prices on auction sites. Killen were a  heavy metal band from Staten Island, New York, who self-released this one album before disappearing of the face of the Earth. However, just because an album is rare and commands large prices does not mean that it's a good record. From comments I had read before actually hearing this album, some people compare this band to the likes of Manowar and early Virgin Steele. I've read comments on-line about how this is a "tr00 metal classic" and the band is often described as "the mighty Killer". One review I read stated that it Killer are "majestic and epic heavy metal!" Despite these glowing comments, Killen is terrible. This album sounds like any number of garage bands from the East Coast when I was growing up in the 80's. The album is under-produced to the point of sounding like a bad demo that was recorded live in a garage. Of course production problems alone are not the problem. There are plenty of 80's bands that had rough production. New Jersey based metal band Heathens Rage also released an under-produced EP on vinyl that commands huge dollars on auction sites but that album actually has good songs, great playing and killer vocals. The vocals on Killen are amateurish at best, the riffs are lifeless and the songwriting is tepid at best. It's just not a great record. Why it fetches such high prices I do not know. I also don't get the weird admiration this album gets from the metal underground and those who use words like "tr00" to describe this garbage. Check out the track "Stricken by Darkness" on YouTube. The fan released video starts off with a quote that states, "Stricken by fuckin' Darkness by the ultimate masterpiece called Killen." Really? Perhaps I just don't get the joke.

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