I’ve been a fan of The King Is Blind for a while now. Their first full length Our father was one of my favourite albums of the year by a long way. Now hot on its heels they’re releasing their second album We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer (Calva Records). Thematically the album carries on the satanic concept of Our Father, but as before is far more than just the heavy metal trope of “woo Satan”! It very cleverly uses the imagery as a foundation for a scathing indictment of modern life.
Opening track ‘Patriarch’ is a slower start than Our Father, resplendent with atmosphere and samples, it seems to wait a respectable amount of time before smashing your face in with some bludgeoning rhythm work, savage riffing and vocal work which is seething with genuine aggression. Of particular note as well is that the production is absolutely top quality and every element of the sound is crisp and precise, which means everything works together so well.
‘Embers From A Dying Son’ is frenetic and brutal and contains a surprising amount of groove, riffs gallop along at high speed making it very easy indeed to get caught up in the raw energy of the record. Although if your listening with headphones in public you may have to avoid screaming you fucking parasite at passing strangers, it’s somewhat frowned upon.
‘Like Gods Departed’ slows things down, simple guitar, orchestral sections and chanting vocals are employed to good effect creating an ominous almost doomy soundscape with guitars weaving throughout. The track then picks up the pace into a simple but effective bolt thrower style groove.
‘Mantra XIII’ is pure out and out Bolt-Thrower worship, and features Karl Willets of Bolt Thrower/Memoriam on guest vocals. Banging out the chugging riffs at breakneck pace, with a definite anti-capitalist vibe in the lyrics this is a very strong track indeed. I’ve said for a while after first really getting into TKIB, they’re probably the most obviously poised to take over the mantle of bolt thrower. This track pretty much cements the deal.
‘The Sky Is A Mirror’, continues on well from ‘Mantra XIII’ with a snarling indictment of modern celebrity culture. Scathing lyrics dripping with venom show that vocalist Steven Joseph Tovey really means it. The intensity of the performance is palpable even through headphones. Once again the rhythm section stands out, pounding away as a framework for dissonant riffing, brooding intensity and confident delivery which reminds me of through silver in blood neurosis.
‘Idolatry Of Self’ is a short but belting uptempo track with an early thrash/punk vibe, another standout track on an excellent album. Nice old school Solo’s bring a smile to the face, and had me air guitaring away like some spotty teenager. I can imagine that when played live the pits to this track are going to be insane.
‘Godfrost’ is an absolute stomper of a track, dry savage vocals, simple but groove-laden the chorus is very catchy indeed: albeit relatively simple in comparison to the depth of the other lyrics on the album. I have no real clue as to what Godfrost means, but when it’s delivered with such conviction then you can’t help but join in shouting it.
Last track ‘The Burden Of Their Scars’ is a slow atmospheric piece, with post-metal samples, and unexpectedly clean vocals, which are a bit unexpected, and possibly a little hidden in the mix. Simple guitars build the tension into some introspective, swirling sludge, before once more letting rip and end the album well.
This is a cracking album, TKIB manage to incorporate so many genres and style into their sound and at the same time, their overall style is so strong that they still maintain a unified and consistent feel throughout. By the end of the album, the only real criticism is that it just feels a bit too short. Their first album was a strong contender for my album of the year, and it’s particularly impressive that they have once again delivered an album of that caliber. It’s certainly the best album I’ve heard in a long while, and I’ve heard some phenomenal albums lately.