The King is Blind - We Are the Parasite We Are the Cancer 01While my fair U.K. may be enjoying something of a qualitative metal renaissance as of late, I’m still not sure I am entirely convinced. The raw ingenuity of Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke and, of course, Voices has yet to be matched—their capacity for redefining parameters gone largely unchallenged. Last winter, I covered The King is Blind and their debut record, Our Father, a band that displayed a nascent capacity for a similar organic extremity. Now, little more than eighteen months later, follow up, We Are the Parasite, We Are the Cancer (WATPWATC), arrives in a bid to outmatch its sibling with a streamlined and entirely more cogent approach, calling forth a whole host of man-made demons to exercise judgment with extreme prejudice.

What was described as death/doom for the sake of review was as close an approximation as possible for the band’s own brand of “monolithic metal.” In reality, The King is Blind opt for a composite of extremes by borrowing from a myriad of influences. As such, the debut could be helpfully sorted into individual genres by track — this record is an infinitely leaner and more muscular affair. Armed with a brazen riff structure and more than a helping of HM-2 delight, these songs consist of dark, urban and, indeed, urbane decay. “Patriarch,” like all good openers should, encapsulates the record with Steve Tovey’s reverb-accentuated vocals breathing a furnace over distinctly blackened chord sequences. Accelerating into straight Stockholm riffing, alien guitar accents preside over the chorus, peaking with a belligerent outro riff that never fails to leave its mark.

Our Father followed a concept, detailing (in a nutshell) Man’s ultimate rejection of God, instead opting to exercise a “free will,” which is little more than another set of self-interested and self-imposed restrictions. WATPWATC continues the concept, as the sin of Capitalism and Commercialism re-powers Satan, who sets out to destroy Man and compound God’s failure once and for all. Sending his Seven Princes of Hell to earth in the guise of seven plagues, much of the record details the effect of each demon’s visitation and Satan’s increasingly churlish clash with God. Although WATPWATC is no didactic anti-christian diatribe, its palpable revulsion for the human condition exceeds its thematic limitation and almost exists as the band’s sixth member. “Embers From a Dying Son” radiates disgust at the western world’s innate capacity for greed and it seeps into Tovey’s blackened shriek amidst ferocious Swedeath rhythms. Equally vicious is “Mantra XIII,” full of punk attitude and the ever-advancing war-mastery of Bolt Thrower, even featuring the inimitable Karl Willetts as the demon Mammon. Interestingly, his first line is “Spearhead, crusader for victory” — if you don’t appreciate the reference then shame on you.

The King is Blind - We Are the Parasite We Are the Cancer 02

A vital sense of melody courses through the record, keeping pace but never tempering the witches brew of insistent punk and thrash motifs that limber the material. A doom evocation is never far behind either, in particular, “Like Gods Departed,” which surely exists as a nod to Paradise Lost. The song even features a solo that could well have been prised from the funerary fingers of Greg Mackintosh himself. Matching a chanted vocal with the gothic aesthetic, it’s once again guitarists, Lee James Appleton and Paul Ryan-Reader, that deserve particular mention. The album is rife with angry, blunt riffs and minute guitar intricacies that exist to emphasize rather than showboat.

Sat with the liner notes, the album feels very whole, and although it’s hard to penalize a band for adhering to their narrative, upon more casual listens, the latter half is slightly overshadowed by the record’s untouchable front. While the album does benefit from repeat listens, the dense riffs and immediacy that populate the first five songs have an increasing tendency to loom, although the metallic hardcore of “Idolatry of Self” and the post-grind, thrash alloy on “Godfrost” certainly aren’t without a spine. In fact, WATPWATC‘s most diverse cut, “The Burden of Their Scars,” closes the record, building a violent tumult that reveals a deceptively hopeful message.

This isn’t a band of young men full of freshly realized vitriol, screaming a sonic middle-finger to “the man;” this is a group of introspective veterans deftly articulating their disdain for a world increasingly unrecognizable, and a reviled disbelief of the self-orbiting culture that has risen in direct ignorance of it — escapism turned abject idiocy. This King is not Blind, it glares into our cesspit souls, strips back the hate rhetoric and theistic allusions and grimaces at our evolutionary arc. We Are the Parasite, We are the Cancer barely manages to contain its own inward sneer, and its content is all the more relevant for it.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Calva Records
Websites: thekingisblind.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/thekingisblind
Releases Worldwide: October 13th, 2017

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  • Planex

    good shit

  • foreverAlfon

    I was hoping for a good review after such a cool cover art. I am therefore pleased.

    • You wot m8?

      Bands that waste cool album art with their crap music are always just saddening.

  • Zach Ward

    Wasn’t much a a fan of Our Father, Will have to see if I enjoy this more.

  • AndySynn

    So I REALLY fucking like this album (as should be obvious)… but am I alone in thinking that “Mantra XIII” is actually the worst song?

    • Ferrous Beuller

      Yes.

  • Grymm

    *reads review, sees mentions of Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost*

    This sounds intriguing…

    *presses Play on the embedded video*

    OH FUCK YES.

  • ssorg

    So far this seems quite good, but I am so very tired of movie clips in between songs.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Don’t ever listen to Killwhitneydead

  • AshCinderSmoke

    I had to give up my cats today so this sounds like exactly the kind of angry metal that I need

    • Damn, that sucks. Sorry you had to do that.

      • AshCinderSmoke

        I appreciate it! Had to be done unfortunately

    • Chigo

      Sorry, that’s a real bummer. I had to do that a couple years ago; still not completely over it. Angry metal does help, though. Sad metal too.

      • AshCinderSmoke

        Thank you! This and Hallatar are helping a lot

  • Gage

    I listened to this a week ago and just couldn’t get into it for some reason. I suspect it is the vocals

    • sir_c

      Classic case of Stockholm syndrome :-)

      • Matt Vogt

        That’s the medical condition where you can only hear guitars played through a HM-2, right?

    • h_f_m

      Wow.. so naive and impressionable.

      I’m liking it as well, so this peer pressure is the correct course of action.

      • Gage

        If it is any consolation I don’t think the album is anywhere close to being a 4/5. More like a 3/5

  • Gage

    Please review “Thy Ungodly Defiance” by Daemusinem

  • hallowed

    Is there a contractual obligation for mentioning Bolt Thrower in all reviews?

    Anyway, sounds good.

    • Yes, thy mighty contract.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      When Karl Willetts features, it’s kind of hard to avoid.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Next thing you’re going to tell me is that you have to mention Yngwie Malmsteen in an Yngwie Malmsteen review.

        • Chigo

          As many times as possible…because, ya know, more is more.

  • You wot m8?

    Even with the absolutely ridiculous number of fucking fantastic albums that have been released this year, and less fantastic albums which I’ve still loved like ugly little puppies, I seriously don’t see anything topping this as AOTY for me.

    Granted, I haven’t spent too much time with this one yet, but my fucking god! My initial several listens have been nothing but positive. Are there stronger and weaker tracks on this album, perhaps in a slightly unbalanced order? Hell yes. Do I really care that much, as I blast this shit through my headphones yet again? Hell no!

  • kmal666

    This doesn’t quite the deliver the rabid kick to the nuts of AN but it’s still sounding pretttttyyyy pretttttttty pretty good.

  • The Akerstache

    This is absolutely amazing.

  • Nukenado

    Cool shit. Will check this out once I get home.
    I wish there was a DR6+ album that sounds like AN…

    • Nukenado

      This is cool. It’s like the more introspective cousin of AN.

  • sir_c

    Karl Willetts is like the Chuck Norris of death metal.

    • Is he a racist clown that writes about his hatred of Obama?

      • sir_c

        I do not understand what you mean. Is it the same Willetts you are talking about, the British guy?

        • I’m kidding. Chuck Norris is a racist far right nut. That’s who I was talking about.

          • sir_c

            Ah, at this side of the ocean we just know about the memes

          • FerrusWheel

            I have friends who never quite recovered from learning that in the famous fight with Bruce Lee, Norris loses.

  • Frost15

    I’m not saying this is bad at all, but… a 4.0?? I don’t know…
    In any case, could you guys please review Fleshkiller – Awaken? It’s slowly becoming one of my favourites of this year.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Yes yes, but where is the White Wizard review!?!?
    You know we’re waiting!

    • Nukenado

      White Wizzard is out next year.
      January AoTM for sure.

      • AotY! With a YMiO for their masterpiece! Which I purchased thanks to this great site! Praise HMG

        • We’ve come to bury HMG, not praise him!

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Ahh I’m jumping the wizard a bit…
        Most anticipated album of 2018 for me

        • Nukenado

          Joking aside, my most hyped 2018 releases are Orphaned Land (likely), Harakiri for the Sky’s Agony and The Reticent’s Oubliette.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            They will all be good but let’s get serious here. The AMG White Eizard review will be the most anticipated metal event in the metal verse.
            So many questions!
            Will HMG come

          • Nukenado

            I think you mean “descend”.

    • Zadion

      I like how this meme has been going for the over half a decade.

      • Nukenado

        The new White Wizzard drops at the start of next year, so… This is relevant again.

  • Wow, what a use of light. I’d be happy to hang this painting in my living room.
    Oh, and the last paragraph is one of the best pieces I’ve ever read here. Band members should swell with pride.

    • Marshlander

      Spot on about the succinct, finishing paragraph.
      A great review for my favourite October album so far.

  • Dead1

    “The raw ingenuity of Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke and, of course, Voices has yet to be matched”
    Voices of course! Who the hell is Voices?
    I love it when reviewers name drop some obscure act no one on the planet has heard of. I think it’s an actual prerequisite if you want to write for Terrorizer.

    • Nukenado

      Okay, since I recognize your usename you’re probably not trolling, but Voices aren’t really obscure.
      If you know Akercocke then you should know Voices, for that’s the band that Akercocke members played in during their hiatus.

      • Dead1

        Nah never heard of them. I have heard of Akercocke of course.
        Voices seems obscure enough to miss out on most metal press that I read.

        • Nukenado

          I see them mentioned a lot… They were basically what Akercocke had become befoe this year’s RIE. Voices even have a Wikipedia article!

        • Grymm

          Go hunt down London, their second album, right now.

          DO. IT.

  • basenjibrian

    Yep. This is a good one. Of course, once Fortress Britain finishes its Great Wall of Snit process, I wonder if we will ever hear British music exported again?

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    The perfect soundtrack to the anthropomorphic slow motion car crash that is unfolding before our eyes. These guys have ably converted their rage and despair into an apposite slab of sonic spleen venting.

    Awesome write up. Cheers!

  • Tofu muncher

    Great write up: If not for the music, I’m gonna look this one up for the lyrics.

    • Tofu muncher

      Nice listening, but I’ve so far found I like Our Father better.

  • Gage

    Sorry, still don’t hear a 4/5. Horrible mixing of the vocals, dull riffs, forgettable songs that blur together.

  • Yolo Swaggins

    YOU FUCKING PARASITES

  • mxtspanya

    Is anyone else getting a bit sick of the hm2 sound? Too many bands are using it these days. At first it was novel and a cool retro throwback but now it gets in the way of the music for me.

  • herrschobel

    great great write up ! i haven´t listened to the record as for now but this surely triggered my interest .. the last paragraph pretty much sums up how i look at the human inhabitants on this mudball called earth at the moment … tough i still have faith that something good will happen in the near future…and even if this ‘good’ is just great art in all forms and shapes. shalom

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    There are many ways to get me interested in an album. One way is to compare them to Akercocke; another is to give me an embedded track which opens up with a 1860 recording of “Au Clair de la Lune.”

  • lennymccall

    Man I’m really digging this! Reminds me a lot of Witchery at times.
    Never listened to the first record, may go back and check it out now.