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King Ov Wyrms – Lord Ov Thornes

King Ov Wyrms
Lord Ov Thornes
by Matt Bozenda at 03 December 2020, 10:49 AM

Hail the pet project. More than merely the desire to play different music or go solo, the side band can be an important tool in any musician’s arsenal. It allows for a creative outlet from whatever is their primary band’s focus, whether that outlet ranges near or far from their other work. Chino Moreno built his rep with DEFTONES but you’ll hear him sound rather differently with PALMS. Josh Homme has made plenty of pivots away from QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE such as THEM CROOKED VULTURES, yet they all have a tendency to sound like home. And, well, ‘tis the season for the SAVATAGE spin-off TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA.

For Tuscon’s own Michael Sanchez, formerly of Power Metal outfit JUDICATOR and lately of Progressive Death metallers PAIN PATTERNS, the pandemic has given him license to dust off his own long-simmering idea for a more orthodox brand of black and death metal. And thus are we given "Lord Ov Thornes", the debut album by KING OV WYRMS, a worthy contender in the late year heralding the cold and darkness that is coming for us. The man has left nothing to chance, electing to fill every position himself on both sides of the studio glass, and the end result is a consistent and thought-out fifty-one minutes of solid metal.

Track one and a natural fit for the first single, "Threnody", comes blasting in as loud as you like and sets a high bar for the rest of the album. "The Great Sleeper" follows it with machine gun snares and tank tread guitars in between terrifying vocals and utterly chaotic Death Metal warfare. For "Hell’s Breathe" the intro and overall tone takes on a slightly more Progressive flavor, in line with his other band but Blacker and quite distinct from it.

The same can be said for "The Maggots That Crawled From The Wound", the album’s longest song at just about nine minutes, and that length is helped along by a stronger presence of the Progressive cadence, which very much sets it apart from the rest of the album. "Lechery" returns to the Black/Death formula from earlier and sounds good enough to have been considered for the single.

The album ends on "Ascendance Of A Continual One", another nearly nine minute dirge of a Black Metal tune that manages to seamlessly blend in the other elements that have preceded it. There is no fanfare or particular sendoff for the end, apart perhaps from an odd upward twange as the song closes.

While it isn’t improving the wheel or breaking any new ground, "Lord Ov Thornes" is still a high octane fill-up for your metal gas tank. As debuts go, KING OV WYRMS hits the scene like a red dragon on a mountain village. The heights it could truly soar are somewhat reined in, however, by the overall convention of the album. There aren’t any real risks being taken here; you’re putting your money into a vending machine, rather than a slot machine.

That may be one of the better problems to have, and the man behind the band has done a great job of laying the foundation for his personal project. We can see and hear that KING OV WYRMS is capable of serving justice in the name Black and Death metal, and it will be interesting to see if album two stays the course, spurns tradition, or goes completely mad.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Threnody
2. The Great Sleeper
3. Hell’s Breathe
4. From Below
5. The Maggots That Crawled From The Wounds
6. Lechery
7. Thorne Bearer
8. Ascendance Of A Continual One
Michael Sanchez - Everything
Record Label: Independent


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