Melodic death metal band from Miami, The Killing Hours ride the fine line between super energetic and painfully safe here on their debut — I, Catharsis. The production sound impresses right off the bat, nice and full and thick but not too processed and stiff; the playing is totally appropriate for the production, the band are very solid players but definitely not wanting to get anything wrong in the slightest. So it carries with it that vibe of when a band like, say, Soilwork went from being razor-sharp vicious to just this side of predictable: a bit declawed but still kinda intense.
This one is all about the riffing, as cool cuts like “Rituals” and “Dredge” prove; seriously, I could listen to some of the guitar work on here for hours and not get bored. And those songs show off the great drumming as well: it’s sure and steady but some of those fills just go on and on, in a very enjoyable way. I’m not as sold on the vocals, but what the hell do you do over this kind of music while managing to sound effective? Honestly, that’s a tough gig. So all the parts are there, it just adds up to a sound that has been played into, yeah, safety over the past decade or so. Still, worth your time if you like your melodic death to be melodic, tasteful, and, really, just this side of heavy thrash. I’ll keep my eyes on them to see if they can break out of their shell a bit more next time; tunes like this album’s well-written “Reflections Of” and title track make me think they will.