Antwerp based trio Killer were the first real Belgian band to make waves in the early 80’s European metal scene.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Killer (Belgium)
LABEL: Hear No Evil Recordings
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Belgium
LINEUP: Paul Van Camp – lead vocals, guitars * Jan Anthonis – bass, backing vocals * Ivan Opdebeeck – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Argus Eyes * 02 Money * 03 Cuts Me Like A Knife * 04 Rat Race * 05 Different Worlds * 06 Hellfire * 07 Nightmare * 08 From Bad To Worse * 09 Trouble * 10 War At Home * 11 Medicine Man * 12 House Of Glass * 13 In A Dream Within A Dream * 14 Tonight (Bonus Track) * 15 Same Old Story (Bonus Track)
Antwerp based trio Killer were the first real Belgian band to make waves in the burgeoning European metal scene. Formed in 1980 by guitarist and singer Paul (Shorty) Van Camp, Killer’s two principal members previously came from a band called Mother Of Track. Given some incentive, the band readied their songs on the 1981 debut album ‘Ready For Hell’ after being picked up by major label Warner Bros.
Over the years Killer have been likened to Motorhead, since they were also a power trio and played the same rabid style of heavy metal which was easily comparable to Lemmy and co. The band were reasonably successful in Europe and did quite well for a time but towards the end of the 80s things got a bit rough for them and they jacked it in for a while, only to return in the early 90s before the grunge scene killed them off.
Killer never quite disappeared though, and found a new audience in the new millennium releasing a couple of new albums in 2005 and 2015. And now in 2023, Hear No Evil Recordings have issued a 2CD set which features a compilation CD of older material going back to 1980 plus a second CD featuring a new set of tracks going under the name of ‘Hellfire’. For this review we will focus on the latter.
If you’re familiar with Killer then the track content onboard ‘Hellfire’ shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. There’s quite a bit of music to be heard. Mostly, the Motorhead influence is easily detectable on tracks such as ‘Rat Race’ and ‘War At Home’, but not everything is as rapid fire as that pair. Killer can slow it down when required as heard on ‘Cuts Me Like A Knife’, ‘Nightmare’, ‘Trouble’ and the ballad ‘In A Dream Within A Dream’.
This is an album for die-hard 80’s metallers. For me personally it’s an OK listen if a bit one dimensional, plus setting aside 63 minutes to listen to it in one go might be asking too much.
Killer are one of several Euro metal bands that are still active in the third decade of the 21st century. I say active rather than ‘resurrected’ because they’ve been releasing albums on/off between 2000 and the current day. Overall a solid comeback from these Belgian legends.
War At Home