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For I Am King - Daemons

For I Am King
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 16 October 2016, 12:04 PM

Somewhere out there is a parallel universe that’s missing a band. The conspiracy theory about FOR I AM KING that makes total sense and definitely wasn’t made up by us just now, is that they are an alternate version of ARCH ENEMY. Unlike the incarnation we all know and love on this plane of existence however, they were born much later and were exposed to a different set of musical trends before recording their debut album. They enjoyed KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and SHADOWS FALL records just as much as CARCASS and those influences found their way into their songs. Then, after stumbling through a vortex between worlds they ended up here, discovered there already was an ARCH ENEMY, so renamed the band and pretended to come from Holland instead of Sweden to avoid suspicion.

With us so far? Well it makes more sense than that bollocks about the moon landings being faked. At least with this one we don’t have to somehow explain the Soviet Union joining in with the lie. Either way, “Daemons” is a very solid and enjoyable debut from a promising new group. It’s definitely leaning more towards Gothenburg Melodeath than American Metalcore, but amidst all the duelling guitars and larynx ripping vocals are breakdowns that HATEBREED would approve of. There’s no melodic choruses to be found but FOR I AM KING are in the useful position of feasibly being able to tour with both KREATOR and KILLSWITCH without being out of place at either.

The Crone” for instance is extreme Metal with a touch of accessibility and just catchy enough to ensnare anyone watching from the bar. There are some beautifully executed leads, a chorus with loads of shouting in it and the vocals are nicely twisted and demonic. “Tantalus” is similarly impressive, the guitar work especially is of a consistently high standard and both axemen handle solos and breakdowns with aplomb. It’s an album for fist-swinging monsters with ear gauges who like to catch their breath by air-guitaring. The downside though is that occasionally, the similarities to ARCH ENEMY do get a bit much. Listen to the intro to “Breathe Fire” without knowing who it was and you’d be forgiven for thinking Angela Gossow had come back with a new band. This is a tad dispiriting because otherwise, the song is excellent. It’s a rabid pit beast, foaming at the mouth with anticipation of mosh violence, it just feels a bit familiar. It’s easy to forgive though when followed by the full-throttle aggression of “Lost In Divinity,” an up-tempo and occasionally melancholic slice of precision engineered Death Metal.

As a whole though, “Daemons” is a very satisfying debut. It’s not perfect and there’s probably going to be a few people out there only too happy to call them copycats, but they have enough character of their own to stand out. FOR I AM KING are a very capable group of musicians, “Daemons” hits more than it misses and they’ve got cross-genre appeal in their arsenal too. They’re not as entertaining as watching a moon-conspiracy documentary while playing “Spot The Nutter” but their passion is way more convincing. The Soviet Union agrees with us too.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Black Death
2. Breathe The Fire
3. Lost In Divinity
4. The Crone
5. Tantalus
6. Interlude
7. Hades
8. Des-Troy
9. Faust
10. We Must Obey
Jaap Relou – Drums
Wouter Cammelbeeck – Guitars
Jurgen – Guitars
Alma Alizadeh – Vocals
Jasper van den Broek - Bass
Record Label: Redfield Records


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