It’s not easy to say what catches the listener’s attention first on Kill Devil Hill, the debut album by the newly formed band of the same name: the strong guitar hooks, the killer grooves, the dynamic production or the potent vocal melodies. Rex Brown, bassist of this supergroup and erstwhile member of Pantera and Down sees Kill Devil Hill in its entirety as an extremely exciting new band “To me, this band is a musical adventure trip,” he reckons. Brown knows what he’s talking about, after all he was involved in some of the most important rock and metal recordings of the past 30 years. So if Brown can hardly contain his enthusiasm, there must be something special to the Kill Devil Hill phenomenon.
The self-titled debut album has been scheduled for release on May 22, 2012 on SPV Records in a number of different formats (CD, LP, iTunes) and presents a band which forms an amazingly homogeneous unit of masters and fresh talent. Along with Rex, Kill Devil Hill consists of drum monster Vinny Appice (former drummer with Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell), guitar virtuoso Mark Zavon, and Dewey Bragg, a formerly unknown vocalist who, you don’t have to have second sight to predict, is at the beginning of an outstanding career. There can be no doubt that the future of this exceptional group is as promising as the sound on Kill Devil Hill, their debut CD.
In 2009 Vinny had found the perfect guitarist in Zavon, who was also looking to start a new band. Zavon played a demo he had recorded with vocalist Dewey Bragg, and Vinny was floored. “Dewey has a fantastic sound, and has the perfect voice and image for this new band.” Dewey is also a master of melody, with the gift of enhancing even the most jagged arrangements with his haunting vocals.
Rex Brown and Vinny Appice have been friends for many years. “Vinny is a brilliant drummer, and of course, I was immediately interested when he asked me whether I wanted to play bass on a demo tape he was working on.” said Brown. Brown was sent “War Machine”, an aggressive up tempo tune which really gets down to business, and is the opener of the new CD. Rex’s bass was the missing piece of the puzzle. His “on 11 at all times” bass style was a perfect fit, and completed the powerful rhythm section.
The CD’s strong numbers such as “Hangman”, “War Machine”, “Rise From The Shadows”, “Up In Flames”, and the album's first radio single, "Strange", feature contemporary and classic metal elements in equal measures, combining old-school and new-school, perfectly. The great potential that this new band has is obvious, that special spark which draws the listener in and keeps them listening is unmistakable. “This is a phenomenon which we also noticed during our first shows in front of a live audience.” says Brown. Kill Devil Hill played their first gig back in April 2011, followed by a 5-week tour in October to test audience reactions. Without relying on the familiarity of Black Sabbath or Pantera covers, the band was able to win over audiences after just the first few songs. “We’ve never experienced that with a band at such an early stage.” Appice and Brown agree.
Kill Devil Hill’s strength is clear, they are an outstanding band who have written a brilliant album featuring powerful songs, and will be a musical force to be reckoned with for years to come.
REX BROWN - BASS
One of the best metal bassists around, he is most famous as the longtime bassist for the Grammy-nominated, platinum selling band Pantera.
He provided the bottom end thunder to the band, live and on record. Since the 1990 release of Pantera's Cowboys From Hell, Rex Brown has had a hand in multiple gold, platinum,
and #1 records. Aside from headlining world tours spanning a decade, Pantera has shared the stage with the likes of Kiss, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath. In 2002, Rex joined
Down for the release of Down II, and subsequent U.S. tours including headlining the second stage of Ozzfest. In 2003, Rex joined Crowbar in the studio to record and help produce "Lifesblood for the Downtrodden."Down went into to studio and in 2006 and recorded Down III. The release of Down III was preceded by a tour with Heaven & Hell and Megadeth.
To further support their album, Down headlined a tour starting at the end of September 2007.Rex is currently endorsed by Spector basses and Ampeg amplification.
VINNY APPICE - DRUMS
Vinny has powered the rhythm live and in the studio with the bands Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Ozzy Osbourne, and at age 16 even performed with John Lennon. Vinny has recorded and co-written songs on over 25 albums and CDs many which are multi-platinum records. Touring the world for over 2 decades resulted in playing before countless fans and selling millions of records! His drumming can also be heard on numerous movie soundtracks and DVD's including Wayne's World 2, Heavy Metal, Iron Eagle and Bedazzled." Vinny, the author of drum instruction book "Rock Steady" and DVD "Hard Rock Drumming Techniques" has performed incredible drum clinics around the globe. Numerous books have been written about Black Sabbath and Dio with the authors always mentioning his unique powerful drumming style and has become a part of rock history! Vinny can be seen in the just released (2010) Heaven & Hell: Live in Europe DVD and can be heard on the new Dio At Donington CD.
MARK ZAVON - GUITAR
After appearing in Guitar Player magazine's "Spotlight" column and receiving acclaim from other players for a unique style and approach. In the '90's Mark recorded with the band Scream Parade for Shrapnel Records. He went on to record and tour with vocalist Stephen Pearcy of Ratt , and later was asked to play numerous dates as the guitarist for Ratt. Mark also recorded and performed live shows with metal band WWIII featuring vocalist Mandy Lion.
DEWEY BRAGG - VOCALS
Dewey Bragg vocals combines an eerie resemblance to the late Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley with his own powerful melodic choruses fronting the band with powerful
conviction. The rest is unknown...