Review: The Kreoles – Psycho

the_kreolesWritten by Rainer Kerber

The Italian band The Kreoles was founded by Ivan McSimon in 2011. His idea was to take his music directions. For vocal duties, Valentina Merlo was found and with whom grace and creative energy is connected. Not long after the lineup was complete.

Fast forward almost six years and the Kreoles have released two albums, their most recent being their sophomore effort, Psycho.

‘The Last Man’ starts with acoustic guitars before becoming amplified with full force. Impressive is the voice of Valentina Merlo; it sounds fully developed and shows its variability already at the first song. The refrain is catchy and a guitar solo at the end rounds off the whole.

In ‘Disease’ the riffs really bang out of the headphones, while at the beginning of ‘Empty’ you can hear riffs underlined by keyboards. These riffs later become very rhythmic.

In ‘Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die’ the guitars are doubled, thanks to the modern studio technique. For live performances, that will probably be somewhat more difficult, but it sure sounds ground. As for the rest of the song, the drums and the guitars ensure a high tempo and the vocals of Valentina are easy to handle.

A little quieter but no less impressive is ‘Don’t You Know.’ During the singing, the instruments are slightly reduced before guitar riffs hit again and another solo is heard towards the end.

‘Obsession’ stomps forward with a nice, strong rhythmically, while ‘Like a Scream’ at first quietly starts, but comes to be dominated by a few banging guitar riffs and substantially quieter vocals. Only by the refrain on the latter track does Valentina go out of her way and convince the listener of the strength of her powerful voice. Towards the end, powerful and fast guitar provides a welcome hard edge.

In ‘Dolomites’ I was surprised, but yes, this is The Kreoles playing in the country style. Banjo sounds accompany the singing and a feeling of the vastness of the Wild West comes up here with the guitars strumming towards the end. Although not a metal tune, this song is for me the absolute highlight of the album!

With ‘Black Star’s Night’ we move past the peace and contemplation with punchy guitar walls pressing ahead. Together with the drums they give a high tempo that really kicks things back into gear.

Like the track before it, the title song ‘Psycho’ is a real bouncer. Valentina again shows what an excellent rock singer she is and the guitars are just banging. With an alternative metal sound, this song shows once again the various ways the band works.

I must confess, I can’t listen to Psycho often enough. The Italians have carved out an excellent second album. The vocal abilities of Valentina Merlo fully convince and her colleagues on the instruments really show their skills. What I find truly outstanding is the excellent guitar work. That being said, the album is not boring even after several passes. The Kreoles are for me one of my best new discoveries. 8/10

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