With the same excellent group of musicians as the first two KillSmith records, Neal Smith takes us on an epic adventure where a poor boy from South America becomes “Diablos the Emerald King,” the most brutal drug lord the world has ever seen. With an ancient drug called “Greenfire” now sweeping the globe, the drug finally lands in a country called Blue Soul Land and KillSmith is ready for the attack.
The best thing about Neal Smith is he is truly full of surprises. When his new CD arrived in the mail I heard the first track Blessings and Curses and I thought it was going to be a similar hard hitting CD as the first two KillSmith CD’s I reviewed.
The CD shocker starts with the second track, Good Morning Blue Soul Land, with guest singer Hubert Martin who sings the swinging blues so well I thought my stereo system malfunctioned and a song from another band came on. How is this possible on a KillSmith CD? Well, at that point I knew I was in for a ride.
But then Screaming Bloody Murder, the third track, hit me upside the head and I knew Neal Smith was back giving little kids razor blades for Halloween so I felt back at home.
But wait, there’s more!
The KillSmith Overture started to play, with excellent vocals by Lady Elizabeth Dellinger, and I thought holy crap, I’d better put on my seat belt! The KillSmith Overture grooves with flamenco guitar, by Pete “Keys” Hickey who played excellent piano and synthesizer throughout the album, and delivers a brilliant composition that made me wonder how a man like Neal Smith, who prefers to drink blood rather than V8 juice, could come up with this?
Palacio De Esmeraldas came next and really brought out what KillSmith is all about. A world class drummer who plays rhythm guitar on his own album and creates such a unique tightness as he plays guitar with his own rhythm section going off in his head! This song really smokes!
The best and hardest hitting song is the title track Greenfire Born of Poison where veteran guitarists Doug Wahlberg and Kevin Franklin put fire into this song with unbelievable lead guitar work.
I Want Money and Pandemonium really started to make me understand the underlying concept of this masterpiece. These two songs are not only aggressive and somewhat tortuous songs but the lyrics pieced together the songs before and the songs after.
Guitarist Rick Tedesco smokes on lead guitar on Pandemonium and Neal Smith’s graveyard vocals will make you want to bring this CD to your grave.
I Remember Blue Soul Land features a smooth Neal Smith on vocals and Rick Tedesco on rhythm guitar, who plays superbly on several tracks.
Death To The King lets us know the world has been taken over by KillSmith and there is no turning back. Joe Meo plays a cool saxophone on this song as well as on Good Morning Blue Soul Land.
Peter Catucci ends the album with beautiful vocals on Noelle No Wonder and did another excellent job supplying bass guitar and vocals throughout the album. The way Neal Smith plays rhythm guitar, drums, and sings there is not a lot of room for prominent bass lines but Peter Catucci once again filled in any missing link on the best of the three KillSmith adventures.
KillSmith & The Greenfire Empire is yet another five-star performance by Neal Smith and his merry band of murderous musicians. Great concept album, superb song writing, killer musicians, and something that should be in everyone’s Christmas stocking.
Order online at www.NealSmithRocks.com/store