Review: Kaine – The Waystone

So you thought NWOBHM was dead did you? Well Kaine have just reinvented the whole damned genre! Like Victor Frankenstein, they have dug up the carcass, stuck some electrodes in its… ears, and brought it kicking and screaming right up to date…IT’S ALIVE!!

The band hails from East Anglia, of all places, and have some gig resumé, having supported all manner of NWOBHM gods from Saxon to Praying Mantis. The album is completely self-funded, and the guys are still trying to break even on this, so I have added a couple of links to have a listen to, and more importantly to dig into those pockets while you await the new Maiden album to drop.
Me and NWOBHM go way back. My first gig ever was ‘Metal for Muthas’ tour in 1980 with a then unknown Iron Maiden, Samson (fronted by a certain Bruce Bruce), and Saxon, amongst others. The seed was sown, and it has never dwindled. I still have all my old vinyl of some very obscure and pretty unknown bands of the time. For me it was a truly exciting time. Britain ruled Metal, and we were spitting out bands every week. Yes, some were terrible but you just need to look at the bands from that era that are still going today, it just shows you how good they were, and how loyal we are as fans.
So how do Kaine fit in if we picked them up and dropped them back in the 80’s? Cream of the crop, without hesitation. The Ruskin Arms would have loved them and Maiden would probably have been very envious. They have intertwined so many bands from the era and on this album. They have given some amazing production, which you have to say was not the stronghold of NWOBHM. The tri-axe attack also works so well, and lets the band cover so much more ground.
The album opens with the first single “Iron Lady” And this could so easily have been on the Maiden debut. It would fit perfectly, and would let you know exactly what they were going to sound like with Bruce at the helm. The decades are rewinding quickly and I nearly feel as though I still have hair. “The New Wave” continues the feel with those winding guitars and punchy, quick vocals which were the recipe for the majority of the bands and a brilliantly, slowly dragged out solo.
“Dreams To Nightmares” changes it up and gives you a Holocaust feel with that pre-thrash urgency. “Solidarity” has a Diamond Head groove, from when they were at their mightiest. A long intro, and then goes into a “Dark Star” break out (Yes, I may just try and mention as many bands as possible). The guitar hook is more akin to “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”. The benefit, I suppose, Kaine have is 30 odd years of music to draw on, and they have definitely worked out what was best, and how to stitch it together and make it all their own.
“Resistance” is a cracker. The intro, a much latter day Maiden, with a mean guitar riff, killer chorus, and nice low growling vocals from Rage. This little bugger would not get out of my head. “Entropy” is sublime. I am so glad the guys went for an instrumental. It was part and parcel of the era, and was definitely not down to laziness, more a total focus on the music. It is a treat for all worshippers of NWOBHM.
“This Soul Exchange” is a slow burner, and I have a little chuckle to myself, as it is a quieter track, and I can actually hear the pop and hiss of vinyl in my head that this would have had back in the day. This tells you how well this band slots into the category. This could be Kaine’s magnum opus… their ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’. The texture painted is medieval and layered. It has everything from the solo to tempo changes and the vocals are spot on.
“Wanderer” kicks off with duelling guitars, perfect drum kicks and that staccato vocal that Rage Sadler has adopted as his own. This leaves us with the title track and finisher. 11 minutes of sheer NWOBHM ecstasy. They may have sneaked a little bit of new romantic in there, but I can forgive that as the song builds and twists into a blinder. The piano paints the light as the guitars come in and turn all asunder black. There is some outstanding bass work on here, and the 11 minutes just flew by, like the years turned back for me listening to this album.
This is a cracking album, paying homage to a bygone era, but it is so much more. You really have to hear this for yourselves. If I can only pay one compliment to this album it is that if “Book Of Souls” is half as good as this release, it will be huge.
Rating:  Dogs B*llocks

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