Throughout my years in Atlanta I’ve seen numerous local acts come and go, but there have been a few that I know will be around for a while, and Death Of Kings is one of those bands. This four piece brings an all out assault of heavy metal to your ears and leaves you wanting more every time! I’ve been privileged to see this band live numerous times, and each time I am left with my mind blown. From their amazing riffs performed by Matt and Steve, to the thundering rhythm section, their music is just powerful as hell. One of the most exciting things about this band is the vocal approach by Matt Matson. He can hit the normal lows we are accustomed to, but then he can pull of the high vocals that remind you of the mighty Rob Halford! Not only that, but he uses them at the right spots in every song. Nothing this band does is ever repetitive or overdone. It’s all original and it’s all fucking metal. I finally got my hands on their new release, “Crushed Beneath The Steel,” and I have managed to review it for you guys! Death of Kings is doing something very special people! Remember the name!
“Crushed Beneath The Steel” is a five song release that promises to hit every metal bone in your body and then break them down with the amount of raging that happens after you hit play. The first track, “Mountain Lord,” opens with a monstrous riff and starts you headbanging right from the beginning. This is the perfect introduction to the record, because it features everything that the band will bring to the table. Amazing riffs, energetic from behind the kit, the thumping bass, classic guitar solos, and of course the piercing vocals! That is the Death Of Kings approach and the reason why I love these guys so much.
Next up are “Severing The Malignance” and “Destructicator” which showcase their great ability to mix old and new styles of heavy metal, but show respect to each in the right away. The riffs are impeccable and so well written that you would think this band has been doing it for thirty years. Throw in everything else that is going on with these tracks, and it just keeps the record’s blistering pace running at perfection. “Destructicator” kicks off with a quick bass line by Scott Price and you are quickly thrust into a punishing riff that could be called punk or metal. Either way, you are headbanging if you are human. This track also brings the low vocals that Matt can do, but he never gets to far away from the high parts that old school fans will appreciate so much.
The final two tracks are my personal favorites. “Trials Of Pantheon” was the first song I ever heard from these guys and what got me hooked right away. The electrifying verse riff, the well incorporated guitar solos, and the breakdown riff prove that no matter what type of approach these two guitarists are doing, they are going to nail it. The diversity in this band is just unbelievable, which brings me to the title track and last song on the record. “Crushed Beneath The Steel” opens with a very “Maiden-like” guitar part that turns into a verse riff that promises to hurt your speakers. As you hit the chorus you will be singing “Crushed Beneath The Steel” with the band as it comes across your eardrums. Matt shows off all his techniques in this track as well. He stays low for the vocals, but the chorus is full of the “Halford highs,” and it’s just beyond impressive! The best part of this track is the massive breakdown at the end that is followed by two incredible solos from the guitar duo! After another riff assault, it’s over, well unless you press play again, as you should.
To say that “Crushed Beneath The Steel” by Death Of Kings is a great record is a huge understatement. Yes, the production is a little sketchy at times, but I think the raw sound really works for what this band is trying to do. With the amount of old school influence in their music, trying to sound too perfect might take away the true energy of the tracks. So for me, this album is not only a great representation of what Death Of Kings can do, but what more bands need to do in the scene. From the thrashy riffs to the guitar solos to the vocals, it’s such a trip through the different genres of heavy metal, but it’s done so damn well. The band’s bio says “We play metal. Hold on to your face.” Purchase the album through the links below and do just that! Death Of Kings are coming for you!