By taking a short break from the power metal band Arctic Flame, drummer/vocalist Mike Paradine has introduced us to his debut solo album, Death In The Family. Born and raised in Bayonne, NJ, Mike has been in bands since he was a teenager and has recently opened up for groups such as Hammerfall and Gamma Ray.

Hard-hitting with some great riffs, “Venom And Piss” draws you into their world. The chorus is definitely noteworthy and the solo that Kilroy delivers is one of the finest moments from the disc. “Rise Up From The Grave,” which features Arctic Flame’s Michael Clayton Moore on vocals, is an incredibly personal song. Paradine, who subsequently lost his left leg after he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 13, tells of how your life can look so grim upon being told that you have a serious illness.

Kilroy grabs control of the microphone on the soft track, “On A Tuesday Morning (The John J Harvey).” It’s a much different change of pace to the album but when the acoustic and electric guitars mix with each other, the tune becomes simply amazing! Reflecting back to your youth, “These Are The Days” is another awesome song. Moore hits the high notes with ease while Dave “Ghost” Meehan rocks the bass. Paradine then sings and smashes the drums while paying respect to one of his favorite groups, KISS, as he covers “Parasite.” Making a guest appearance on “Bow Down To The Queen” is Wolf’s drummer Richard Holmgren, who actually sounds pretty damn good on vocals.

Mike’s story is an intriguing one, and it’s great to have this talented guy in our own backyard. This album is not the hardest one you’ll come across but the music is good and the band does a great job of mixing and matching with many different singers.

In A Word: Exciting

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