IN FOR THE KILL is a Japanese metal/hardcore band that has been rapidly gaining fame in their home country, as well as some recognition overseas. The band was founded six years ago, in 2013, with core members Ina (vocalist) and Tomo (bassist), who used to play in METAL SAFARI together, a band that was pretty well-known in the hardcore scene. They caught our eye since they have been recently put on the world map through their first self-titled full-length album, which is being re-released all over Europe the 4th of October.
IN FOR THE KILL have been making a name for themselves in the Japanese metal scene with their amazing, energetic live performances. Their live show at domestic festival Japanese Assault Fest ‘15 left such a mark on its audience that the high demand to have them back for the ‘16 edition simply could not be ignored. Of course, this surge in popularity did not go unnoticed, and in 2017 they released their self-titled debut album to the world. This same album is now being re-launched targeting Europe, so we at Tuonela Magazine picked up on this and wanted to find out what all the fuss is about.
Well, let’s talk about this record. I am going to start by stating the obvious: just look at that mind-blowing cover art by Nurgeslag! You might recognise this Ukrainian artist’s work from the likes of ROTTING CHRIST and BATUSHKA albums, and it is absolutely stunning, making me eager to get on with it and press play. The intro of first track “Chaos” embodies its title, but when the first breakdown comes it really delivers. Harsh yet clean riffs accompanied by fast double-kick drums set the tone for a headbanger’s ball all the way to the end. The band has changed drummers a couple of times, but they may have hit the jackpot with this one. Toru‘s techniques are impeccable, living up to the other band members’ standards.
Ina‘s vocals are another great asset worth highlighting. The way he aggressively works the mic with his raspy voice is good for many moments of raw power blasting through your speakers. Looking back at earlier work, I feel like Ina has grown to really owning his identity and style as a vocalist. He has been perfecting his technique, using all of his talents to shine on this record, and even more on stage. The interplay between Japanese and English lyrics gives interesting nuances to tracks like “Berserk Song”, which has a lyric video out, and makes you forgive any arising English pronunciation issues *wink*.
What I personally appreciate most about IN FOR THE KILL, is that they do not sound like your average hardcore band, and subsequently have not fallen into the trap of aiming for a more mainstream sound while gaining fans from all over the world. Aside from them tearing shit up with some brutal breakdowns, I have come across many hints of thrash metal, some groove, and even some more extreme, melodic death metal influences. To say the least, Ryosuke has clearly been finetuning his guitar work, surprising me with melodically driven hooks and fast, furious riffage.
I honestly get why they have become so popular in the Japanese scene. They are clearly passionate about metal, and have used their understanding of different styles to create a refreshing concept that keeps you engaged. On top of that, having watched recent live performances on YouTube, I can only imagine how much fun it would be to see these guys in action. They never seem to run out of energy! I wish them the best of luck in conquering Europe, and if I ever get the chance, you can bet I will be part of the crowd at one of their shows.
2. Serpent From Hell
3. Berserk Song
4. Buried Alive
5. I Am A Stranger
6. Asphalt Mountain
7. Spit Out The Bait
8. War Comes
9. Born To Be A Killer
11. In For The Kill
Takenori Inamoto – 稲本 剛章 – Vocals
Tomohiro Suzuki – 鈴木 友博 – Bass
Toru Watanabe – 渡辺 徹 – Drums
Ryosuke Ichikawa – 市川 亮介 – Guitars
Reaper Entertainment – Spiritual Beast