"Krypt Kicker 5" (Screaming Ferret; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There's some pretty good hard rock to be found on the nine tracks of "Krypt Kicker 5" -- and you can find it on tracks like "Bastard," "You & Me," "Crack the Sky," "Pain" and "Pray for the Future." I believe those are the "Krypt Kicker 5" of the title. They are old-school, guitar-driven rockers performed with dynamic energy and a sly style that will get your head banging and your toe tapping the moment your hear their first notes.

The remaining tracks are brief audio interludes, the longest lasting 49 seconds, that are described on the back of the CD as "Various Skits of Phrenia." Except for the amusing first one ("Fine Dining"), they're basically useless and serve only as an annoying divider between some great Slik Helvetika songs. Thankfully, with modern CD and MP3 players, you can program the disc to skip these "skits" and just play the music.

"Krypt Kicker 5" would generate at least another half-guitarsaw rating if it were released as a straight forward EP without the distracting and unnecessary "Various Skits of Phrenia." Their presence chops up the album's continuity and only get in the way. Still, that's a minor annoyance. They're short enough not to make the CD unlistenable and, as mentioned above, you can always program around them to get to the real meat here: some great hard rock courtesy of Slik Helvetica.

By the way, according to the band's website: "The EP "KK-5" is comprised of left over songs from the debut CD that had a more aggressive feel and bizarre humored skits." You'd never know these were "left over songs." They sound as good as anything on the band's self-titled CD.

Slik Helvetika: Mikhall Myers - guitars and lead vocals; Kurt Wagenseil - bass and backing vocals; Mark Bennett - drums and backing vocals; J. Lee Haven - guitars and backing vocals.

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"Slik Helvetika" (Screamin' Mimi; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Slik Helvetika, based just up the road from me in the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia, PA), are a traditional hard rock band that focus on classic hard rock and a broad array of metal motifs. Slik Helvetika’s brand of hard rock is not dissimilar from the music made by Judas Priest and Accept in their heydays. This is not groundbreaking stuff, but there’s nothing wrong with a band taking something tried and true and putting a little bit of a personal stamp on it. Slik Helvetika’s self-titled debut does just that.

All the music on “Slik Helvetika” is extremely energetic – this is foot tapping, head banging, air-guitar worthy stuff. However, the cool part about Slik Helvetika’s self-titled debut is that there’s plenty of diversity. There’s a traditional ballad (“September”), a bluesy thumper (“Silhouette”), and even a touch of hard rocking ‘80s melodic hard rock sensibilities (“Skies”). Basically Slik Helvetika make no apologies for doing what they do – mostly because it avoids pure hero worship and treats ‘80s hard rock and metal with a significant degree of respect.

Let’s get to the issue about the ‘explicit’ lyrics (an ‘explicit lyrics” warning is on the front cover artwork). The ‘explicit’ lyrics appear on five tracks in one form or another. Are these lyrics a bit over-the-top? Occasionally. Do these lyrics push the envelope of good taste? In one case “yes.” Do I think the occasional ‘explicit’ lyrics fit right in with the overall ‘no apologies’ approach of the band? Hell yeah.

“Slik Helvetika” was produced by Mikhall Myers and co-produced by David Ivory.

To summarize: Slik Helvetika’s self-titled debut is nothing groundbreaking, a good head-banging time, evokes the best of traditional metal and ‘80s melodic hard rock sensibilities, and appeals to fans. What more could you ask for?

Slik Helvetika is Mikhall Myers on all guitars and vocals, Kjell Benner on bass, and Steve Salter on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.