Ecuador’s Kill City pull out the stars (and heavy duty ones at that) in support of their new album Last Man Standing even before a note has been struck in anger; Foreboding intro piece Paradoxical Dream, based on Antonín Dvořák‘s Symphony Number Nine, features cameos from no less luminaries than Adolf Hitler, Sir Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King. These are big acts to follow – can the feisty South Americans pull it off?

Well, in their own endearing, slightly naive way, yes they can. Kill City offer no side to their art, just plenty of sincerity-packed, heads-down heavy rock and metal from the old school that is as enjoyable to listen to as it is unsurprising to hear. At no point during Last Man Standing will you find your enthusiasm waning as the band race through eleven songs – two of the best of which are delivered in their native tongue -in the quest to prove they’ve left no stone unturned when it comes to re-enacting the glory days of bubble-permed melodic metal.

Hence we get a drama-packed, slow-burning power ballad (Against Myself), chugging quasi-thrash (Wake Up), Helloweenesque, crowd pleasing earworms (Emepezar De Nuevo), and, best of all, a piece of sparkling, quite superb radio rock in the form of standout track When The Show Is Over that is staggeringly good and shows just what a great voice Chemel Neme has.

In fact, all five members of Kill City bow to know one in terms of mastery of their respective tools of the trade, and whilst Andres Miranda (Bass) drummer Luis Neme don’t get a particular chance to shine – this isn’t pyrotechnic, show-off, prog rock, remember), they power the ship efficiently and provide a solid base over which Xavier Diab and Juan Iturralde take every chance to show off their six string chops to best advantage. These guys are all consummate pros.

Naysayers will laugh at the prosaic nature of what’s on offer, naturally, but one of the things that keeps our kind of music alive is the fire is the belly that it inspires in the bellies of it’s adherents – year after year,  non-com or not. And whilst that fire burns, bands like Kill City will always have a place at the Sentinel Daily table. All power to them – and to you for giving them a shot, which I know you will…

Last Man Standing releases on November 12th.