ALBUM REVIEW: KING 810 – La Petite Mort Or A Conversation With God
It’s been an interesting few years for KING 810, newly signed to Roadrunner Records and riding what seemed to a tsunami of hype as the new weekly “Most Dangerous Band on the Planet!!” Off the back of their debut album Memoirs Of A Murderer they toured the world and seemingly had the unfortunate position of being taken to the cleaners by Korn & Slipknot on a nightly basis and seemed to suffer a backlash from the public, with many decrying them for being that band who sings about murders, murdering and those people that done a murder.
Despite critical acclaim, KING 810 seem to be at a tipping point: they could either recess and become that band that were crowned before earning the title, or its time to stand up and say here we are and this what we do.
Their new album La Petite Mort Or A Conversation With God certainly nails their colours to the mast from the start, the first half of this album in fact comes out raging. The one two punch of Alpha & Omega and Give My People Back are both absolute ragers, ranging from Only One era Slipknot grooves on Alpha & Omega to Slayer-esque blasts of pace and tempo changes on the opening of Give My People Back. This coupled with the band’s nasty production – which makes the album sound dirty and savage but not under produced – and in this day of watered down metalcore being the norm it’s nice to hear a mainstream metal band actually sounding dangerous.
Though it is on the second half of the album where things get really interesting, when the band really start experimenting with just how far they can push the envelope. Vocalist David Gunn’s stuttering, spoken word delivery is pushed to its max on the likes of War Time, which feels more like an autobiographical sermon than a knucklehead metal pit anthem, and especially on Life’s Not Enough which has an almost Portishead vibe, which meanders and flows like an ocean of silk with its luxurious female vocalist until a piercing 70’s era Martin Scorcese soundtrack saxophone blasts out of the ether.
The highlight of the album is Me & Maxine which has a lounge blues sung by Tom Waits effect to it. With its wailing Dave Gilmour-esque blues guitar and haunting piano led backing track, this is Gunn’s shining moment, whose whiskey soaked voice drips in atmosphere and could easily be performed in a smoke filed NOLA cafe.
It’s not the finished product as the lyrics still do tend to follow to formula of murder, murder and more murder and like excessive gore in a slasher film do tend to blend into the background, becoming nothing more than white noise by the later tracks on the album. As well as sometimes being slightly cringe worthy “Where I’m from, you know I’m from Murder town” being a particular head shaking moment.
But KING 810 show on their sophomore effort that they do not give a fuck, the hype may have gone away but the musical canvas has broadened. To see what becomes of KING 810 will be interesting as they do not fit anyway, yet never claim to have or on the basis of this album, ever wanted to. There may be nothing as instant as Desperate Lovers or as hook laden as eyes but the artistic canvas on display here is a more than worthy successor to Memoirs Of A Murder.
Standout Track: Me & Maxine, Give My People Back, War Time
For Fans Of: Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Tom Waits
Written by: Dan O’Brien