Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy metal
Label - Metal Mind Productions
01. The Rider
02. Young Blood
03. One More For Rock'n'roll
04. Guardian Of Your Heart
06. The Resistance
07. Exodus (The Red Sea Crossing)
08. Heart Of Steel
09. Wild Woman (You Oughta Know)
10. Get Out Of My Way
11. I Don't Wanna Lose You
The whole idea for this project was started by Marco Mendoza two years ago. Performing in Poland, Thin Lizzy was supported at that time by the metal act Anti Tank Nun – and, as it seems, the extraordinary talent of the support act’s guitarist, Iggy Gwadera, left Mendoza enchanted.
The collaboration between the two followed and soon it evolved into a full star-studded project, involving Mendoza and Gwadera as well as shouter Doogie White and monster drummer Vinny Appice.
To make a perfect heavy metal fairy tale out of it, it should be added that the impressive Gwadera is only 16 now, the fact that can really restore one’s faith in the late ‘90s “generation Z” as they call it.
Of course, the fairy tale wouldn't be complete without the input of the Fairy Godmother(s), or, in this case, the producers’ team. Here we go as follows: Jarek ‘Chilek’ Chilkiewicz (a well-known Polish guitar player) as well as the album’s composers Wojtek and Piotr Cugowski (the two talented sons of Polish classic rock legend Krzysztof Cugowski who followed their father’s footsteps artistically).
The result of this multi-dimensional collaboration is "Kill The King".
Enough of the background – let the music do the talking.
WAMI’s first release is perfect balance between hard rock versus traditional metal, classic roots versus contemporary sound, aggressiveness versus melody.
“The Rider” is the dynamic opener featuring the dazzling guitar gallop, followed by the powerful, upbeat mid-tempo “Young Blood” where stellar vocal harmonies complement the melodious main riff.
The next song is a bit self-introductory, as White sings 'we are rock’n’roll believers' in his raspy but strong voice; it’s “One More For Rock’n’Roll”, a number with a Black Sabbath trademark style and psychedelic flavors.
Fourth track is the absolute highlight – the ballad “Guardian of Your Heart”, where Doogie White shares lead vocals with the above Piotr Cugowski. A result of their collaboration behind the microphone is the brilliant, emotionally laden performance, and the surprisingly perfect match of these two voices brings the song to a whole new level.
“Transition” is pretty heavy and straight-in-your-face with a bouncy rhythm, which precedes the mellow intro to “The Resistance”, but that's only seconds before the track evolves into a metallic killer stomper with muscular gun-machine riffs and feisty, aggressive vocals – but at the same time, still melodic. Interestingly enough, this song’s outro is an obvious reference to White’s Scottish heritage – check it out and you’ll have it loud and clear.
“Exodus (The Red Sea Crossing)” is driven with a slow, lumbering, early eighties metal British-esque atmosphere. Its follow-up “Heart Of Steel” is a groovy but melodic hard rock piece, driven by quite modern riff.
Some bluesy hard rock overtones are to be distinguished in “Wild Woman (You Oughta Know)”, a feisty and groovy hard rock piece (think early Whitesnake), in a contrast with “Get Out Of My Way” which develops into a fast-paced, dynamic hard rocker with aggressive dialogue between the lead and backing vocals.
The final cut “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” is a soaring acoustic ballad with cello part played by the guest musician Dorota Wozniak-Mocarska and a perfect melody to finalize the CD.
"Kill The King" above all, proves one undisputed fact – this international, intergenerational hard rock WAMI project really works. And even more, the sensational artistic collaboration between a group of talented Polish musicians and the three hard rock legends would be seriously unappreciated if referred to only as a curiosity in Appice’s or White’s vast discographies.
It’s so because of many reasons – not only the predictable quality of the performance by the legendary musicians of Rainbow, Dio or Whitesnake fame, but also well-crafted compositions penned by the creative duo of Cugowski brothers.
The true scene stealer is, however, guitarist Iggy Gwadera – being not even old enough to vote and still, capable of meeting such a challenge. His talent and prowess, surprising at such young age, really shines through the entire album, and it’s almost certain we’ll hear about this gifted young man in the future – perhaps mentioned again alongside big names of the music industry.
Let’s also hope Kill The King won’t be the last album under the WAMI moniker – although with the bar set so high with the first one, it’ll be hard to top it.
Rating - 8/10
Full Line Up -
Doogie White - vocals
Vinny Appice - drums
Marco Mendoza - bass
Iggy Gwadera - guitars
Jarek ‘Chilek’ Chilkiewicz – additional electric & acoustic guitars
Wojtek Cugowski – add. electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Piotr Cugowski – guest lead vocals (track 4), backing vocals
Tomasz Golab – bass (track 5)
Szymek Synowka – drums (track 9)
Marek Trojanowicz – all keyboards
Dorota Wozniak-Mocarska – cello (track 11)
Eliza Cugowska, Krystyna Cugowska & Ewa Chilkiewicz – backing vocals
thanks to Alexandra Mrozowska