KINETIC DISSENT – CONTROLLED REACTION: THE DEMO ANTHOLOGY (Divebomb Records)

Review by Stefan: I’m sure you know it too, new albums filled with songs from the 80’s, I still think this is a fine gesture from the labels offering them. That way you can enjoy excellent songs again that we only had in our possession at the time as a demo. I remember well that in the 80’s ‘tape trading’ was a regular activity for me. I got to know a lot of good acts who later became top bands, a few names: Slayer, Metallica, Exodus, Iced Earth, Armored Saint, Death Angel, Heir Apparent, Lethal, Queensryche and so much more. It were years that will stay with me forever. Especially heavy/power/speed and thrash metal acts from the USA were my absolute preference, that’s why I still have a passion for US Metal.

There was also Kinetic Dissent from Atlanta GA who was able to convince me enormously with their quirky but effective progressive heavy-power-thrash-metal style. Officially formed in 1984 and three years later their first 6-song demo “The Fall Of Individualism” was released, followed by a second one called “Controlled Reaction” (1988), loaded with four tracks. Especially this last demo was so well received by the press, media and worldwide supporters of the US metal genre that the band was noticed by Roadrunner, imprint Roadracer Records. The possibility to record the next demo was obvious, the band recorded four new songs at the Musicplex Studios in Atlanta shortly after. These new cuts were later re-recorded for their long-awaited and more than deserved first long-player “I Will Fight No More Forever”, released in 1991 through Roadracer Records.

The record left a great impression on me at the time, and still does. Everything sounded different than the average metal bands we were offered back then, the strength of Kinetic Dissent was in the originality and unique performance of their songs. It became a mixture of progressive power and thrash metal of very exceptional level. This pearl was not welcomed by certain people as it should be and I found that highly inappropriate. This completely undervalued album is and remains one of the most unique metal efforts ever recorded. Another formation that comes to mind now, and that was in the same situation, was the band Psychotic Waltz. Underrated and yet superbly good !

All songs of that magical debut from Atlanta’s finest metal act are just out of category ! After every listening I feel satisfied and in a good mood; despite the fact that the album also radiates its dark sides. Difficult to compare Kinetic Dissent with other bands but if I get a chance to do this I’d say it feels like a mixture of Blind Illusion, Mordred, Forté and Anthrax. They also shared the stage with interesting names like Fates Warning, Pantera, Death Angel and plenty of others but the sad fact was that they never really got the chance to promote their dazzling debut in a decent way which caused Stephen Danyo (guitars) to leave the band. The remaining members decided to record three new songs in 1992 but unfortunately, Roadracer Records have never shown any interest. A few months later it went downhill with the young and promising company and the existence was stopped, much too soon of course !

Great appreciation for Divebomb Records that now with the release of “Controlled Reaction-The Demo Anthology” gives us the opportunity to add these last three songs to our collection. I had never heard them before and think they are beautiful, more heavy metal oriented and I am very satisfied with the result. Goddamn, what a wretched situation knowing these are the last songs we will hear from this wonderful band Kinetic Dissent. A real shame due to the reckless behavior of certain people who apparently prefer to give the advantage to less interesting bands to work with.

But it’s the way it is and maybe sooner or later we’ll get a reunion, as it has often been the case in recent years. I’d like to say thanks to Divebomb Records for the release of this amazing album reflecting the demo era of the one and only KD existence, but my greatest appreciation goes out to the band themselves, one of my favorite us metal acts ever ! Those never heard of Kinetic Dissent, don’t waste your time on mainstream crap and try something more to-the-point; the choice is up to you !

Tracklist Controlled Reaction: The Demo Anthology

*Channel One Sessions (1992): 1. Strike The Tent   2. Reason To Riot   3. Solitaire (Waiting For The Alarm)

*Roarunner Records Sessions (1989): 4. Novocaine Response (Sadness Screams)   5. Social Syndrome   6.    Banished   7. Cults Of Unreason

*Controlled Reaction (1989): 8. Choose Your Faith   9. Cultured Illogic   10. 12 Angry Men   11. Face Of The Fallen

*The Fall Of Individualism (1987): 12. Distorted Truth   13. Reflected Fear   14. Dark Inside The Light   15. Driven To Insanity   16. Hollow Corporation   17. The Price Of Defense (M.A.D.)

My Rating: 89/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)+

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