King Heavy - King Heavy
Cruz Del Sur Music
Doom Metal
7 songs (45' 25")
Release year: 2015
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

King Heavy has some interesting history behind it. It's a cross-Atlantic collaboration; former Procession bassist Daniel Perez-Saa met Belgian vocalist Luther Veldmark at a metal festival in Germany, and after recruiting a few more of Perez-Saa's fellow Chileans, they produced their first EP by sending it back and forth (online, I presume, rather than by mail). Their debut LP doesn't color outside the lines of the genre much, but true to its name, it sure is heavy.

La Gárgola starts the album off with a vibe that some might feel is reminiscent of Marcolin-era Candlemass, but I'm actually reminded more of Perez-Saa's former band. There's more epic mournfulness than thrashing, and the riffing is big and profound. Many doomsters try to emulate Malcolm Marcolin's booming pipes, and almost no one has succeeded to-date, but Veldmark's voice comes very close in its solemn vibrato, and where he misses, the instrumental section comes to his rescue. The three Chileans punch well above their weight in turning out tightly synchronized doom metal songs, and occasionally guitarist Matias Aguirre launches into a solo which harmonizes perfectly with the riffing he and the rest of the band are performing on the rhythm side. Thirteen Chosen Ones, too, is good; faster than some of the other tracks, it still has a dull inexorability to the beat that doesn't pause for singing by Veldmark.

And a driving, steamroller rhythm covers over some of the weaknesses the band hasn't grown out of yet. For instance, it doesn't seem like Veldmark is always as precise as the rest of the band. Perhaps this is due to recording in separate locations, or perhaps the amount of words in the lyrics he sings that don't always connect up with the rhythm of the songs. Wounds is one of the songs that best avoid this, and is also one of the best songs on the album, ranging between ferocious hammering, in the beginning verses, and a rhythmic, key-switching march of doom in the bridge and solo. The slower parts are where the band seems to lose track of the song's pacing sometimes, though The Crowning, a slow but atmospheric interlude, is an exception to this. We get an end to the album in He Who Spoke in Tongues, a piece with epic heaviness that puts the rest of the album in the shade by comparison. The riffs have the solid finality of gravestones, the drums are double-kicked, and Veldmark's voice is so big and solemn that he could pass for the Grim Reaper. Definitely my favorite track on the album.

For a debut, King Heavy is a very good start, showing few weaknesses and some solid doom songwriting ability. The band's first stab at an epic sound here is enough to draw some blood, and I'm pretty sure that future releases from these guys will be even better.

Killing Songs :
Wounds, He Who Spoke in Tongues
Andy quoted 79 / 100
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