1993, JL America
What we have here is an interesting little album recorded in 1992, and released by the notorious JL America a year later. I was first introduced to this Florida band in about '91 or '92 when I was sent their first demo tape. At that time I was not completely impressed by these guys, as they sounded like a Slayer cover band and in their songs included breaks, riffs, and structures taken straight from 'Reign in Blood' or the earlier Slayer albums. But I remember being struck by their expert ability to do so, and I waited to see how they would develop. They soon released a 7" record on the cult underground label Seraphic Decay (if anyone out there has S.D. vinyl they want to get rid of, contact me!), home to such bands as Incantation, Morpheus Descends, Abhorrence, Derketa, etc. and then they, for all intents and purposes, completely disappeared - so discovering this album was something of a revelation for me. I found it at a local used CD store for two dollars and picked it up because I was interested in finding out, after all these years, exactly what happened with their progression. The answer? A little bit of a surprise, as this album is actually better than average.
Killing Addiction decided to go in a completely different direction from their earlier efforts - this album is a tasty little cut of brutal death metal in the grand Florida tradition. The closest thing I can compare this to would be Grave, from their second album on. The vocals combine ultra-low grunts and high piercing screams, the guitars cycle endlessly around revolving riff patterns and crunching rhythms before striking out into unexplored melodic territory or rising to vomit forth bizarre little solos, and the song structures are actually completely different from what had come before - closer to later Cannibal Corpse than anything else.
So is this album worth seeking out? I don't know, as it is probably almost impossible to find in any case. But I would definitely tape it if you can find a friend who has it, and it fills a strange little niche in the development of the American Death metal style that is worth exploring.