King Giant – Black Ocean Waves

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Sometimes the epithet ‘Southern’ can make one shudder in fear rather than delight, with stodgy ‘Dad Rock’ often found invading its borders. There’s no such danger here… from the off Black Ocean Waves (Graveyard Hill Records), the third album from Virginian old-timers King Giant, displays a brooding intensity: the rumbling bass notes and lead howls of opener ‘Mal de Mer’ invoking feelings of both melancholy and trepidation. The roaring riffs of ‘The One That God Forgot to Save’ carry more of a barrelling stomp than a latent groove, whilst the overall feel possesses some of the Stoner / Grunge of Gorse with Dave Hammerly’s vocal reminiscent of the Brighton trio’s James Parker.

There’s a sleazy, nefarious quality here which prevents the album’s early stages from diving into flabby mundanity. Todd “TI” Ingram’s leadwork is often understated yet enlivening when it appears, evoking The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ when splitting ‘Requiem For A Drunkard’s raunchier elements. It gives the lament of ‘Red Skies’ an indolent, Eastern quality, while Hammerly’s plaintive roar portrays guilt and shame with real passion; the whole swaddled within intricate rhythmic patterns and fluid time switches.

There’s nothing new here of course, and the younger metalhead may doubtless find this lacks his or her required energy levels. Rarely, however, does this kind of stuff possess the sort of up tempo, pulsing vibe that King Giant produce with seeming ease; the rampaging yet tempered heavy rock of ‘Trail Of Thorns’, for example, displaying the vitality of The Doors’ later, heavier moments, albeit without the quirky invention. Creativity is here though – the angry roars and swells of ‘Blood Of The Lamb’ are occasionally quelled by a softer texture; a constant duel which heightens the emotion and piques the curiosity further with a dreamy, truly moving Ingram solo. The crushing oscillations of closer ‘There Were Bells’, meanwhile, mix with lamenting yet euphoric verses in an elephantine take on Pearl Jam.

All sounds the old man might like? Sure. Black Ocean Waves, though, gives them a serious injection of power and fervour which lifts King Giant way above the often bloated fayre of their genre.

 

7.0/10

 PAUL QUINN

Sixty Watt Shaman Recording Tabula Rasa With Producer J Robbins

sixty watt shaman

Veteran Baltimore based heavy desert rock/doom unit Sixty Watt Shaman will be releasing their next full length release Tabula Rasa this winter via Ripple Music. The record will be tracked by J. Robbins of Jawbox at Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore, MD next month.

The band has confirmed a string of upcoming shows.

May 29: The Opera House – Sheperdstown, WV (w/ Karma To Burn, RHIN)
May 30: Empire – Springfield, VA (King Giant CD Release Party w/ Foghound)
Jun 26: Club 611 (The Maryland Doom Fest) – Frederick, MD

Sixty Watt Shaman on Twitter

King Giant Posts Album Teaser

King Giant. Photo Credit: Bobby Ross

King Giant. Photo Credit: Bobby Ross

Northern Virginia Southern doom rockers King Giant is streaming an album teaser for their upcoming third album Black Ocean Waves, self released this Spring with digital distribution with The Path Less Traveled. They recorded the album at Magpie Cage Studios in Baltimore, MD and J. Robbins (Clutch, The Sword, Wino) engineered and mixed the album. Robbins also performed Hammond organ on the track, “Blood Of The Lamb,” and background vocals on “Trail Of Thorns.” Cover art was done by Misty Kilgore.

Black Ocean Waves Track Listing:
01: Mal De Mer
02: The One That God Forgot To Save
03: Requiem For A Drunkard
04: Red Skies
05: Trail Of Thorns
06: Blood Of The Lamb
07: The Gentleman Carny
08: There Were Bells

The band has booked a local record release show:

May 30: Empire – Springfield, VA (record release show w/ Sixty Watt Shaman, Foghound)

King Giant on Bandcamp

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