Monday, 1 June 2015

Kings Destroy - 'Kings Destroy' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 05/05/2015
Label: War Crime Recordings

‘Kings Destroy’ CD//DD//LP track Listing

1). Smokey Robinson
2). Mr O
3). W2
4). Mythomania
5). Embers
6). Green Diamonds
7). Time for War

Kings Destroy is:

Carl Porcaro | Guitar
Chris Skowronski | Guitar
Steve Murphy | Vocals
Rob Sefcik | Drums
Aaron Bumpus | Bass


Since their inaugural 2010 release, Kings Destroy have set out to show what they are made of, evident with their 2013 release ‘A Time of Hunting’ which went down a treat amongst fans and critics alike.  With their unique ability to blend an eclectic mix of Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age and Black Sabbath into an immense wall of sound, they had a monolithic task ahead of them for their 2015 self-titled offering.  Taking the next logical step up, KD produce this 7 song album with an earthy, organic twist alongside stellar production and phenomenal artistry.

‘Smokey Robinson’ is the starting point, opening with a riff so sharp; it carves its way out of the speakers with ease surrounded by Murphy’s clean, piercing vocals matching the musicality with ease. To be blunt, yes it is the work of men who have knelt at the shrine of Black Sabbath on a regular basis but I fail to see this as a bad thing. The grooves and hooks they thrash around are doom laden and majestic; the likes of which don’t come around too often.

‘Mr O’ is next, bringing an unapologetic, emphatic, stoner rock song; ladled out with a huge serving of unashamed honesty.  It finds a friend later in the album with ‘Green Diamonds’ but has no need to, as it stands alone; a beast of a song replete with more frenetic movement and blistering solo work than one could ask for. ‘W2’ is immense, grinding, whining and battering the doors down upon arrival, it pummels the senses revelling in the destruction and chaos it brings. The vocals are flat out haunting imbibed with melodiousness; the tonality- superb. On the back of a gargantuan riff, that deserves its own place in history, it will hammer its way unapologetically into your conscience in twisted and unexpected ways making itself at home in your psyche urging you to press the replay button.

I begin to struggle as I realise there is not one song I don’t like, they all have their own place from ‘Mythomania’ winding down the pace before reaching a massive crescendo of sound and aural pummelling before dropping back down.  It could almost be a ballad and certainly a master class in song writing. ‘Embers’, is just crushing and also the longest track on the album, it is followed by the shortest ‘Green Diamonds’ upbeat in comparison with an early 70’s vibe that just won’t quit.  Again, it crushes and bruises whilst sedating you gently with the audible talent.  These pair of tracks bounce off each other so very well here, a nod to the superb arrangement, is also worth mentioning too. 

‘Time for War’ is the finale here, and what a finale it is.  It builds eerily; imagery of a swirling fog inducing haze abounds, alongside the heavy, simplistic bass lines and doom laden drumming.  It is here, Murphy adopts a disconnected tone to his voice, indeed the track displays a different approach from the band, but make no mistake it is a stoner driven, sludge filled epic.

As previously indicated, whether by accident or design this is less of an album, more of a journey, rewarding with the odd challenge thrown in, but bound together with highest quality production for good measure.  Encircling so many genres, Kings Destroy could have easily tripped up, yet they haven’t, embracing the future of doom in its complexities, quasi prog leanings, KD have performed well here. Refusing to fit into one style; even keeping the length of their album to just 34 minutes, shielding themselves from the stoner rock genre in its entirety. It is a heavy record, of that you should have no doubt, but it is not over-long and contains enough light, shade and subtlety to ensure they make themselves heard but not pigeonholed.

Three albums in, their song writing is diverse yet confident, flowing from fierce hooks to oppressive atmospherics fluidly and with ease.  With such quality and calibre shining through as well as the passion and execution, they are sure to cut their own individual path through the smoked out haze.

Words by: Kat Hilton

‘Kings Destroy’ is available here

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