Apart from a few staples and hidden gems, most of the music I absorb tends to originate from America or Central Europe, so as a British native, I make sure to actively keep an ear to the ground for new and unheard greatness emanating from my own fair isle. Enter: The King is Blind, carving a swathe through the carbon copy hordes with the band’s self-styled brand of “monolithic metal”. Now, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from a band featuring ex-members from acts as diverse as Extreme Noise Terror and Cradle of Filth, and certainly I won’t pretend that I had tracked their progress from demo to LP. In fact, debut Our Father came as a complete surprise, despite having something of a buzz around its inception. Turns out the band play a malignant combination of classic death/doom with overt black metal and punk variations, and boy oh boy, was “monolithic” right

First in line, “Genesis Refracted” wastes no time in thundering forth with caustic death metal riffs and vocalist Steve Tovey’s (whom some might remember from the short-lived Goth outfit Entwined) voice alternating from diabolical growls to gruesome black metal rasps. As far as opening statements go, its straight for the throat, redolent of death metal’s golden age but with enough modern thrash sensibility to keep it from descending into revivalist territory. Similarly, “Fragility Becomes Wrath” keeps the brawl going with its hook laden, pure death approach, combining feral attitude and a penchant for great riff work. It’s not until we encounter “Mors Somnis” that the doom in the equation begins to make itself known. A gothic intro bleeds into huge, quaking rhythms that lumber along until switching to a total blast-a-thon at the halfway point. Death/doom isn’t all that easy to get right, but the band manages to execute an old sound with enough zeal and vitality to re-weaponize the genre.

The backbone of The King is Blind is, without doubt, made up of the unrelenting rhythm section. There is as much restraint as exuberance in the song structures which lends itself to the album’s palpable energy. Ryan and Appleton (guitars) have carved a record rife with all kinds of virulent riffing and the result is a deceptively diverse album; “Bloodlet Ascension,” “Mourning Light” and “Amen” respectively offer Swedeath inspired thrash riffs, glacial, neutron star doom and a disgusting crust/death hybrid. The fact that this album dropped at the very beginning of 2016 and that the likelihood of you having heard it is increasingly slim, especially at this, the end of the year, is particularly unfortunate.

Almost 30 years after the release of Death‘s Scream Bloody Gore, its satisfying to find a handful of albums still capable of imbuing the genre with the incipient malevolence and tenebrosity that the scene sprang from in the first place. Our Father is definitely and defiantly one of those releases. Do not let 2016 slip into the night without having heard this leviathan. Long live the King.

Tracks to Check Out: “Fragility Becomes Wrath,” “Bloodlet Ascension,” “Mourning Light” and “… For All The Daemons Are Here”

Share →
  • Zach Ward

    I really like the name of em, so Imma give em a listen.

  • maurismind

    I saw these guys live 3 times now. I first went to see them at their album release show as I liked the album the one time I heard it before. They were ok but didn’t sound that good live. Then I saw them opening for Sylosis and Decapitated, which was a surprise as Black Tongue were scheduled to open but they were replaced by TKIB with no notice. Though I got kind of bored of them that second time, I still forced myself to headbang to try to get into it but nothing… and the third time opening for Akercocke, I was completely tired of them… Why the same band playing 3 damn times in under 5 months?! I never wanted to come back to their album due to how bored I got of them live… but I dunno, maybe I’ll give this another listen agh

    • It’s simply a matter of who you know. Knowing the right people gets you the gigs, regardless of how good/popular you are

      • maartje

        According to metal archives, guitar player Paul Ryan is also booking agent for Cradle of Filth, Trivium, In Flames, etc.
        Guess it’s easy then to score a few gigs :-)

        • maurismind

          Wow no wonder then… Those are some very popular bands

    • Reese Burns

      Sylosis and Decapitated?? Lucky..

      • maurismind

        It was a cool gig Reese, not really one of the best of the year at all, but there I met some friends with whom I’ve been to many gigs since then :)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Hey always enjoy TYMHM time…
    FYI these pieces aren’t appearing in the navigation tabs at the top… So they can only be reached by clicking through from the last review.

  • Reese Burns

    Heard about these guys through a Metal Hammer sampler CD. Liked what I heard then, so I’ll have to check this one out.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      Do it. The album is a brute and they are killer live.

  • Thatguy

    Is that a goat or a deer on the cover? Deers aren’t metal.

  • sir_c

    Pretty solid stuff indeed and that is a Good Thing.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    That deer-headed dude on this cover inmediately reminded me of the seal-headed guy from Riot covers.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Awesome embedded track!

  • jersey devil

    What Mr Guerra said (awesome embedded track).