Saturday, March 27, 2010


My initial impression of Arizona is a hot and arid state with lots of sand. Whether that stereotype is accurate or not could be open for debate. What I am sure of is that in the summer temperatures routinely topple the 110 degree mark. Perhaps it’s because of that intense heat that brought Darkness Before Dawn into the studio to record this hot disc. King's to You is the title of their debut release.

Melodic death metal perhaps like Dark Tranquility or Scar Symmetry (minus the clean vocals). By the groups own admission influences range from The Black Dahlia Murder, Dethklok, Behemoth and many others to numerous to mention. The riffs here are hard and fast with little use of subtlety.

Now I would normally say this isn’t my favorite brand of metal, but since I’ve been listening to the latest from Dagon and In Grief my take on extreme vocals has changed a bit. Most importantly to me is that the songs have some melody or hook, if it’s there then someone can grind away all they want over the top. That was the element that I loved about Dagon’s Terraphobic so much. Melodic opuses with brutal instrumentation and face plastering vocals that worked so well.

DBD brings some melody here on King’s To You but the riffs are more straight ahead with some keyboard orchestration that does add some cool atmosphere. I will say tho that this release isn’t for the faint of heart. King’s to You is hard heavy and dark. From the opening strands of 'Monster Kondo' thru 'The Slain Reunion' and on into 'Material Existence' this release moves like a freight train.

If you’re a fan of this genre there would be no reason I can see that would prevent you from picking this up. The songs are composed and performed with precision. Enough melody to keep the songs separate from one another, nothing like having a release turn into one long song.

Maybe the only complaint I have is that at times the lack of dynamic range does make it a little hard to distinguish point a from point b. Yet I realize in this genre dynamics are generally non existent.

The production is adequate and solidifies this release as a strong death metal offering. Bombworks is definitely a good label to have on your side as they continue to put out strong releases such as this. For a debut King’s To You is worthy of a purchase let’s see what the future holds for them as well.

6 axes

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