Style: heavy metal, power metal
Members: Chris Sanders ~ guitar/b. vocals
William King ~ vocals
Dave Ellifson ~ bass
Ken Mary ~ drums
Additional: Adam Emmons ~ keyobards
In a 2011 interview I did with KF creator/guitarist Chris Sanders, formerly of Lizzy Borden & Nadir D'Priest, he said he wanted to turn back the clock & create some traditional heavy metal. It won't take but a few bars into the first song on the debut by KF, Time To Rock, to realize he's achieved his goal. Indeed this sounds out of time & maybe out of place in an era of reunion hair bands & alt rockers who riff without an edge into eternity. My knowledge of rock eludes me at the moment to be able to clearly throw out names like Twisted Sister or Ratt as points of comparison, but I played the album for a friend whose a middle aged non-heavy metal listener who grew up listening to Devo & Gary Numan & he immediately said it had a classic 80's rock feel. "Nothing Left" opens the album with a heavy dual guitar distorted riff that drops like a friendlier & more melodic sounding Halford against a pounding rhythm section that includes Megadeth's Dave Ellefson on bass, a connection made on Sanders' previous work with the Northern Light Orchestra. Sadly, it's a high profile guest but as bassist his work is somewhat tucked into the mix. William King enters with a highly distinctive tenor pushing the music forward. He's also responsible for lyrics on all but the opener, turning out a catalog of loneliness & loss, though the music comes across quite upbeat. The template is basically set-up for the album with this first song. Fast riffing, the obligatory guitar solo & William King's voice cutting & soaring over it like Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden or Yes's Jon Anderson. For those expecting something akin to Sanders previous band & the one that probably brought him the most fame, Lizzy Borden, this is nothing like that. If anything it might be closer to London, whose lead singer Nadir D'Priest Sanders played with for some time & who said Sanders was like Randy Rhoads. My friend said the album reminded him of Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger". Ironically, we heard the song later being played at the restaurant we had dinner at so it mysteriously bears mention here. Time To Rock doesn't necessarily sound like Survivor but the same driving feel that makes that a great song to play in the car can also be found here. Also of note is that for a band formed by a guitarist this is not like, for example, Slash's output which has a tendency to be one long solo but Sanders actually keeps the soloing limited sticking to coming up with heavy rhythms. Check out "Battle For The Castle", not one of the four singles released for the album, which is one of the more interesting songs due to its vocal dynamics calling up an almost Iron Maiden-esque feeling & the fact the rhythm largely pulls away leaving the guitar solo in mid-air.
(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 23 "Interview: Chris Sanders," July 2011, click here to listen)