King – “Reclaim The Darkness” (Indie Recordings)
Black metal from down under! From a continent that sees more bloody sunshine and less snow than most places on this planet, its hard to imagine black metal being big – let alone being played in the Scandinavian vein which is exactly what King do!! True, King’s style is more blackened taking in the influences of Immortal’s screeching ferocity equally with Dissection’s technicality along with In Flames melodies, but its so Scandinavian (right down to the album’s mastering by Thomas Eberger at Stockholm Mastering who has worked with bands such as Gorgoroth, Darkane, I and Symphony X) I think these guys ought to move there – or at least to New Zealand’s south island with its fjords ha ha. Still, King do live up to their grandiose name and for a debut this is an impressive release, forged over a number of years since the band’s beginnings in 2013 showing plenty of thought and quality composing as well as musicianship to match. From Tony Forde’s dry throated rasping vocals to David Hill’s Amon Amarth type riffing and David Haley’s pounding drums, songs like ‘Night Sky Abyss‘, ‘One World One King‘ and ‘My Destination The Stars‘ really bring the chill of the dark winter frost, and moreover an epic, almost wonderous atmosphere in reflection of the breathtaking landscapes that first inspired this style of music.