Friday, 10 March 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: King Woman - "Created in the Image of Suffering"

By: Ben Fitts


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2017
Label: Relapse Records


At times, the album crawls and squirms under your skin like a maggot. At other times, it is an uplifting, celestial journey “Created in the Image of Suffering” is one of the most daring, fascinating, inventive and immersing albums to be released in a while.


“Created in the Image of Suffering” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Utopia
2. Deny
3. Shame
4. Hierophant
5. Worn
6. Manna
7. Hem


The Review:

Metal is no longer about excess. Colossal riffs, blurry tempos and wounded demon vocals are still acceptable, but modern metal is changing into a more subtle assault. Nuanced composition and sonic manipulation define the forefront of metal innovation today, and these contemporary qualities are perhaps best exemplified by the San Francisco based quartet King Woman. The band’s debut full length album, “Created In the Image of Suffering”, is a chilling blend of misty, post-rock sonority and ominous doom metal.

King Woman is fronted by former Whirr vocalist Kristina Esfandiari, and her shoegaze background shines clearly through the album. Her vocals walk the line between the ethereal and the ghastly, cutting through layers of dripping wet guitar tones like a spectre flying through crumbling walls. Esfandiari’s haunting vocals are best displayed on the chimy, airy track “Hierophant” and the album’s slow burning closer, “Hem”. However, for all their post-rock elements and astral soundscapes, King Woman still deliver bruising metal riffs and crushing doom, as evidenced by the album’s massive opener, “Utopia”.

On the vanguard of metal today, “Created in the Image of Suffering” is an album that pushes the boundaries on what it means to be metal. At times, the album crawls and squirms under your skin like a maggot. At other times, it is an uplifting, celestial journey. But it always challenges metallic convention, exploring textures, attitudes and musical practices generally not even touched in metal. “Created in the Image of Suffering” is one of the most daring, fascinating, inventive and immersing albums to be released in a while. 

“Created In the Image of Sufferingis available here





Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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