KILL DEVIL HILL - Black Cat Down!
by Martin Popoff

There's more drama these days in the Pantera an' Down camp, and add to that the hot seat that is the drum stool at future Black Sabbath concerts (well wishes for Tony's recovery from cancer notwithstanding), the time seems to be ripe 'n' rife for fresh starts. Ergo there goes Texas bass bad-ass Rex Brown and Vinny Appice, percussion legend for Derringer, Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. Their new joint is called Kill Devil Hill, with the band rounded out by lesser-known typical metal burgers Mark Savon and Dewey Bragg, who, as these things often go, are probably the most important components of the band, actually, being guitarist and front man/vocalist respectively.

"Hard rock/metal," is how Rex Brown begins his summation of the band's thoroughly catchy mix of Sabbatherian stadium metal with reunion-era Alice in Chains (and if Vinnie and Dime's Damageplan comes to mind, well, yer not off-base). "You have your elements of older-style hard rock, '70s hard rock similar to what Sabbath did, with a new edge on it - old meets new, but with its own identity."

And hey, even if Savon and Bragg are obviously capable of colluding o'er a smoke-choked collection of doomsters, without a rhythm section this seasoned and strong, the end effect wouldn't be so steely pro.

"Shoot, I'll just put it this way," ventures Rex, asked what it's like to be in a backbeat with one of the classiest, most distinct old school metal drummers in the world. "I've been blessed three times. If you're a bass player, that's pretty overwhelming. With Vinny, that was definitely one of the considerations going to check and see if this thing could work. Because, you know, we really lock in tight. You know, it's just three different styles of music, basically. I call it my little musical journey. I'm just going down a path that, when you get something dropped in your lap like this, you then really have to say, well, is your heart into this? Are you ready to go and do this again and leave nine years of stuff behind, and go your separate route? But for some reason, when I heard it, I just felt like it was real. It had the melody, the hooks, the harmonies, and everything I was looking for in a singer, I found in Dewey."

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