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Kikimora: Dirty Nails
Kikimora - Dirty Nails Album Art

Kikimora: Dirty Nails

Melodic Heavy Metal Rock
4.0/5.0

Do you recall Bulgarian guitarist, songwriter, and producer Nikolo Kotzev? I sure didn't. Let's refresh our collective memories. Mr Kotzev roots go back to the obscure Swedish band Baltimoore. He then started anew under the solo project Brazen Abbot which included five studio albums between 1995 and 2005. Over that period, Brazen Abbott featured such well-known vocalists as Joe Lynn Turner and Tony Harnell. Eventually, Kotzev would return to his native Bulgaria to form Kikimora. Named after a demon from Slavic mythology, his intention was for the band to record hard rock songs written in the Bulgarian language and performed for his native audience. Various projects arose from this including a Deep Purple and Rainbow tribute band. But after building his own studio, Kotzev decided that Kikimora should record a new English language album. That album is Dirty Nails for England's Escape music label.

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Frost*

With that long history lesson, let's face the music. Kikimora is a band that twists melodic hard rock with traditional heavy metal, all created and led by Kotzev's songwriting and guitar work. Fleshing that description out, you'll find that the songs feature elements that are fast and heavy, yet loaded with rock rhythm and groove, a strong sense of song melody, and an abundance of vocal harmony. Of course, Kotzev offers his portion of guitar harmony and ripping solos.

Sampling songs from the album, listeners will find some fast and heavy rockers with King Rock N Roll, Liar, Prisoner, The Hustler, and Bogeyman, which has a subtle, but notable, Hammond solo followed by a Kotzev guitar solo. For something different, The Chosen One turns on a synth symphonic start before evolving into melodic metal, only to finish with a fine vocal harmony breakdown in the latter third. Love And Pray finds Kikimora once more leading with a soft start: classical piano over symphonic synths. But eventually song rises, building to heavy steady metal with an epic feeling, and the piano line lingering underneath. The song was a personal favorite. If there's a ballad to be found it comes with Lost Soul which, like The Chosen One, features another classical piano melody. All said, after a few spins, I found Kikimora's Dirty Nails an entertaining and promising listen, solid, metal-infused, melodic hard rock. I hope we'll hear more from the band in the coming years. Recommended.




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The Take Away

After a few spins, I found Kikimora's Dirty Nails an entertaining and promising listen, solid, metal-infused, melodic hard rock. I hope we'll hear more from the band in the coming years. Recommended.

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