Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: Kiljin – Master of Illusion

Label: Self released

Date: July 16th, 2020

What kind of a weird name is this? I could understand “killin”, but what is Kiljin? Just to make it a bit more interesting, a version of the logo can actually be construed as “killin”. This really got me wandering.

Unfortunately, that is one of the rare things that will actually get stuck in your brain after listening to Kiljin’s debut. By the way, Kiljin is some sort of a family business. Three quarters of the band share the last name. Wouldn’t surprise me is the rhythm guitarist is also a distant relative. But that’s beside the point. The important thing is the music performed on “Master of Illusion”. And the cover, to some extent, especially since it is a nicely executed piece of digital art.

When it comes to music itself, there are a couple of things to factor in. First of all, the band members are no newbies to music. They have previously had the opportunity to share the stage with some extremely important acts. Under a different moniker, but it goes to show they are able to convince people of their capabilities. However, their debut full length falls short to make a similar effect on me.

“Master of Illusion” is a fine example of metal craftsmanship. Somewhere in between Accept’s version of heavy metal and Megadeth’s thrash metal. Manowar impersonation at the beginning of “Beard of Wizard” is, fortunately, just one such instance. The thing that immediately gets noticed is the length of the record. Over eighty minutes spread across eleven tracks. No wonder the record is published digitally. This would be a double CD release. Not to mention the multitude vinyl issue. The songs just stretch unnaturally into infinity with way too little to keep you interested in their entirety. The US quartet is capable of creating engaging riffs, wicked solos, strong rhythms and convincing vocals, but they are not enough for tracks that are eight minutes or even longer. Somehow I got the sense of listening to “Master of Illusion” for the second time, only to realize I was only halfway through the first spin. Furthermore, the lyrics are fairly well made, pointing at some issues that every person can relate to. Plus, they are wrapped into decent vocal arrangements which make them fit like a glove to the music behind. There are a couple of memorable choruses too. If it would only have been half the length, “Master of Illusion” would have the potential to really dazzle the listener.

Sum of it all is that “Master of Illusion” seems like Kiljin has put everything on it. Every little bit they have in store was placed to the front. Perhaps if they had kept some hidden, or just scrapped the fillers, this would have been a much more worthy release. Albeit, they have not, so the album feels like a missed opportunity. Hopefully, this will change with the next one, as there really is a whole lot of potential behind Kiljin.