KILLERS, Mise aux Poings 2001 (2001, Brennus)

The skull:
It looks cheap, but this cover works for me for some reason. Probably the green. Green and flowers are not very heavy, so you don’t see them too much on metal covers, but Killers don’t give a shit. They said to the president of their label, “Nous voulons des fleurs, et de jolis verts et jaunes. Ajouter un crâne, si vous devez,” and, sipping from his glass of wine, the president replied, “Il doit en être ainsi.”

The music:
This is the French Killers, not the Paul Di’Anno project of the early 90s, and Mise aux Poings is, you will not be surprised to learn, a re-recording (made in 2001) of their 1987 album of the same name (minus the year, of course.) Why they did this, I cannot say. It sure as hell wasn’t to improve on the cover, because the original had an awesome angry bird on it. Not that kind of Angry Bird. As for the tunes, I haven’t heard the original version, but this newer one is not a great-sounding album, and it’s not at all modern sounding (2001 modern, I mean). Also, it’s hard to imagine that this singer was somehow worse when he was younger, but maybe one of the other guys, like the drummer, really blew on the original. I’d have guessed that maybe it was an issue of rights or something, but the same label that issued this reissued the original as well in the late 90s. So, who knows, or cares? It’s a very solid album, at least. Killers are a pretty good French speed/power metal whose main problem is that they sing in French. I have nothing against the French language, or non-English metal, but French is almost entirely unsuitable to heavy metal. Czech? Sure. Russian? You bet! Faroese? I’m in! But the romance languages fare rather poorly in metallic applications, generally speaking (and I make that final concession merely out of politeness – I have never yet heard le metaux français that wouldn’t have been better en anglais.) If you wish ADX were a little more polished and melodic, or if you wish Sortilege were a bit faster and heavier, then Killers is the band for you. If that last sentence didn’t make any sense to you, then you’re off the hook on this one.
— Friar Johnsen

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