|Kingdom Of Sorrow - 'Behind The Blackest Tears' (Relapse)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Monday, 07 June 2010 05:45|
The monolith that is Kingdom Of Sorrow caused quite a stir when they got together and released their debut boasting, as they do, two of metal's leading lights in Jamey Jasta and Kirk Windstein. Whilst that debut was a damn fine album, 'Behind The Blackest Tears' takes things to a whole new level. The album absolutely reeks of quality. If their debut was a very good blended whisky then this is the dog's bollocks, 20 year old single malt.
You might expect the influences of Crowbar/Down and Hatebreed to be apparent but, whilst they rear their heads occasionally, this album stands very tall indeed on its own merits and the wall of sound KOS have managed to produce.
Opener 'Enlightened To Extinction' is Southern Sabbath heaven, lumbering in on a heady mix of a killer riff and a wailing wah pedal, before the main riff kicks in and you are literally blown away. From the off you can tell this is gonna be a special record. Jasta's vocals and Windstein's guitar just seem made for each other and the music they've produced just fits them both like a glove.
'God's Law In The Devil's Land' has a real epic feel, built again on some monstrous riffs but with some great melody thrown in as well. Jasta sounds almost Anselmo-like as well. Fucking awesome song.
'Monuments Of Ash' does doff its cap to Crowbar due to its sheer heaviness, but the pinch harmonics and brooding make this another stonker. The title track is underpinned by a real stomping riff and huge chugging heaviness throughout. Fuck, by the time you're halfway through this album you're struggling to come up with enough adjectives to do justice to the hulking monster this album is. It's fucking amazing. Relentless in terms of quality, heaviness and songwriting you'd be hard pushed to find a more complete heavy-to-the-core metal album this year or for quite a few to come. What makes it all the better is there's great variety on here as well, 'From Heroes To Dust' is quite breathtaking in the manner it takes the heaviness down a notch and replaces it sevenfold with great atmospherics and a solo to kill for. It also boasts Jasta's lifetime best vocal performance. Real spine-tingling stuff.
There are so many highpoints on here you could basically just roll out the track listing as each song just seems to take everything to a new level whether it be heaviness, melody, atmosphere, dynamics......ah fuck, it just fucking rocks. Simple as.
With the other commitments of KOS's main protagonists, how extensively they'll be able to tour on the back of this record remains to be seen (they're pencilled in to play some Ozzfest dates in the States) but if they do manage to get within a couple of hundred miles of you get and see them because I would imagine this stuff in a live setting would be off the fucking scale.