'In For the Kill' sees the long-awaited return of the doom metal style that characterised Budgie's debut, before softening out to a more standard hard rock tone on the releases in-between. With seven highly uneven tracks containing a mix of classics and stinkers, this is as definitive an album of Budgie's original style as it's possible to imagine, even if the repetition weakens its competitive power compared to the leaders in the field, most notably Black Sabbath.
As on the previous album, it's the opening and closing songs that pack the mightiest punch, leaving everything in-between seeming a little lacking in comparison. 'In For the Kill' is led by slow and seriously heavy guitar riffs balanced out by Burke Shelley's high vocals that reach a higher squeak than ever before, while 'Living On Your Own' is one of the few extra-long Budgie songs to actually improve as it goes along, rather than becoming tedious. Tony Bourge's guitar works excellently against Shelley's bass in this finale making for the finest Budgie song so far, with excellent lead guitars that remain memorable long afterwards.
Sadly, the rest of the album really does fail to live up to these exceptional highlights. 'Crash Course in Brain Surgery' is just typical blues-rock fare, 'Hammer and Tongs' and 'Zoom Club' are fairly slow and tedious, 'Running From My Soul' is even less interesting than the band's previous mediocre instrumentals, and 'Wondering What Everyone Knows' is the compulsory ballad that once again pales in comparison to the band's usual style, though this is noticeably superior to their previous efforts. With a little more focus on creating a strong centre, this could have easily been a required heavy metal classic; as it is, it's distinctly average.
1. In For the Kill
2. Crash Course in Brain Surgery
3. Wondering What Everyone Knows
4. Zoom Club
5. Hammer and Tongs
6. Running From My Soul
7. Living On Your Own
1.In For The Kill / 2.Crash Course In Brain Surgery / 3.Wondering What Everyone Knows / 4.Zoom Club / 5.Hammer & Tongs / 6.Running From My Soul / 7.Living On Your Own