Midwest monsters KING 810 were set to become a household name in the metal world after they exploded onto the scene (and Roadrunner Records lineup) in 2014 with their aggressive style of heavy metal, modelled on the brutal reality of living in a crumbling Flint, Michigan. It was the perfect soundtrack to the destruction and chaos of the band’s lives to that point and their unique brand and frontman David Gunn’s uncompromising lyricism were at the forefront of their nu-metal-tinged assault.
Since then the band have been dropped from the label and had their brushes with the law offstage. Their second album, while arguably their best work, didn’t hit as hard as hoped, while Suicide King and their latest full-length, catchily titled AK Concerto No. 47, 11th Movement In G Major, seemed to completely fly under the radar. Instead of releasing another album three years later, Gunn and co. have decided to go the EP route and they seem to be all the better for it. follow my tears is KING 810 back with a vengeance and stepping in the right direction even if it’s a far cry from their destructive debut.
It starts off in classic KING style, with the unsettling Gunn spitting his unhinged venom with a blatant disregard. The verses are creepy and they give way to a shrieking chorus with the titular refrain of Brains On The Asphalt being bellowed with an uncontrollable rage. This is what the band do best, unleash hell. Widdershins is a nu metal rager, and Gunn sounds like Fred Durst in the midst of a roid rage. A filthy groove in the bridge will make your head bob until the breakdown arrives and snaps your neck.
The mid-point track Holy War kills the momentum slightly. While it still features Gunn‘s psychotic ramblings, the instrumentals themselves aren’t that interesting. There is some excellent bass work here to keep it from being a complete throwaway, but overall, it’s pretty forgettable. Speaking of forgettable, the lyrics in early KING 810 are some of the most intriguing and emotionally charged ever put to tape. There are some great moments here, such as within the powerful Isobel (which features some great piano work), but due to the muddled mix, Gunn’s vocals tend to get completely swallowed up by everything else. They don’t cut through as well as they should, especially considering how important the stories that he narrates are to the band.
The EP comes to a close with the surprisingly bouncy Say Cheese And Die. It’s an infectiously catchy number that showcases the band’s ability to pen a great song, with an earworm chorus and a memorable riff. With some cleaning up regarding the mix and a focus on hooks, KING 810 could be on for a winner with their next EP releases which are due to arrive in the near future. follow my tears is a great teaser of things to come and shows there are still bullets left in the chamber.
K5: follow my tears is out now via self-release.
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