King Of The Dead – King Of The Dead

Of all the various faces of doom metal, perhaps the fastest growing subgenre (next to the ridiculous outpourings of funeral doom these days) would be stoner doom. A few albums each from Kyuss and Sleep and all of a sudden everyone and their brother is peeling off Sabbath riffs and getting high. Out from the rather unexpected region of North Dakota comes King Of The Dead, the latest such band to participate in stoner doom. While certainly not rewriting the book on this style, their debut self-titled LP is a satisfying slab of such music that all fans would be encouraged to pick up.

What we have here is pure, traditional stoner doom, plain and simple. There’s a big influence from Kyuss, Clutch, and Sabbath, making up rocking, mid-paced music that most of us will enjoy. Pretty much everything here is traditional in nature; riffs are chunky and grooving over syncopated drum patterns and craggy, well-defined vocal patterns. This is an album best for pure fans of stoner doom, and it pulls off the formula pretty convincingly, with songs like ‘Justify’ and ‘Serpent Moves’ being archtypical and solid slabs of the style.

Now, King Of The Dead are certainly not doing anything strikingly original here. Granted, they don’t really profess to, but this is very pure and traditional all the way through. Those looking for a new ‘Jerusalem’ shouldn’t be looking here, as this is pretty unexperimental. Another concern might be in the length of this album; big fans of stoner doom will be happy with the forty three minute running time, but I can’t help but think that it could have dropped a few tracks and been more effective overall.

That being said, any fan of stoner doom should definitely put King Of The Dead on their list. While they’re not doing it new, they’re doing it well, and that should be enough for many of us.


~ by noktorn on April 5, 2007.

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