Sadly, a few have thrown in the towel, but when you’re an MMA cage veteran, I guess that’s not on the cards. To quote Barras: “Once Covid hit, it was a case of ‘anything goes’, and I don’t care anymore,” he says with no preconceived plan for the album. “It’s an album without limits; I felt nothing was on the table for that.”
Barras’ last album, “Light It Up”, was a huge success and brought KBB to new opportunities, then suddenly the world closed. “For a long time we realized that we no longer had control of ourselves. I had some really dark times. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything. It was really tough,” said Devon-born Barras.
So here we have ‘Death Valley Paradise’, the sequel to ‘Light It Up’ and the result of feeling no limits and two years of introspection and recuperation.
Frankly, I’m shocked at how good it is.
The producer of this album is Dan Weller (Enter Shikari, Bury Tomorrow, SiKth) and you can definitely feel the power and space of Shikari or SiKth but coupled with the rawness and melody of Barras’ writing. He has collaborated on writing with such heavy hitters as Jonny Andrews (Three Days Grace, Fozzy), Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Airbourne, Rob Zombie), Blair Daly (Halestorm, Black Stone Cherry) and Zac Maloy (Shinedown, Tyler Bryant) but the songs are still very much Kris Barras + rather than just adding it to the other writing. “It was great because it gave me different perspectives and just sent me down a different path,” he says, completely elated by the experience. “I wrote more than half the album with Blair Daly,” he says. we’ve become good friends now.”
There is, as there always has been, a lot of anger and passion in Barras’ music and it’s all here in spades, but there’s a sense of recognition of the world and the alarming state in which Covid threw everyone.
It’s as if Kris Barras was growing up musically.
There are so many great songs here – ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ has incredible breadth and depth, the riffery on ‘These Voices’ will make your head shake and ‘Who Needs Enemies’ is energetic, massive and deeply passionate.
Kris Barras is a real rock star and this is definitely another step forward. Monstrous album.