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Kingdom Of Giants – Passenger

Kingdom Of Giants
by Thomas Kumke at 13 December 2020, 5:56 PM

KINGDOM OF GIANTS hailing from Northern California were formed in 2011. The band play a mix of Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, and Modern Metal. So far they have released 1 EP and three full-length albums in 2013, 2014, and 2017. Their fourth full-length album “Passenger” was just released in October via Los Angeles label Sharptone Records. It was produced by Dana Willax and Matt Thomas at Ashtone Audio. It has a length of approximately 45 minutes.

Passenger” blends the aggressive elements of Metalcore with softer elements of Post-Hardcore. It includes typical shouts, screams, heavy guitar riffs and djents on one side and melodic clean vocals, harmonic lead sequences and keyboards on the other side. The opener “Two Suns” is one of those songs from the heavier side of the album. Yet, it is a mix of aggressive screams and powerful riffs at the beginning and melodic parts throughout the song. The vocals are a battle between the screams and the clean vocals. The song loses its dynamic a bit especially during the harmonic middle part. Another heavy examples are “Burner” and “The Ride” that follow in principle the same approach as “Two Suns” but with more focus on heaviness and aggressiveness.

After the opener, “Passenger” drifts a bit towards a softer sound driven by synthesizer parts and harmonic clean vocals and guitars. Songs like “Night Shift”, “Sync”, or “Side Effect” follow the same patterns. Especially “Side Effect” represents the harmonic and emotional side of the album. Interrupted by occasional screams, the song is driven by harmonic effects in the background, melodic and catchy leads and vocals. “Wayfinder” is another example of the battle between anger and emotions, screams and powerful guitars on one side, harmonies and catchy melodies in vocals and keyboards on the other side. The longer “Passenger” goes on, the more the harmonic and emotional sound becomes superior and the aggressive sound elements only occur occasionally in the songs. That makes the album less interesting and more predictable.

Wayfinder” has been released as video featuring Dana Willax and was produced by Mike Taylor. It shows a hunt where a guy runs for his life in a futuristic simulation. The video is really well produced with the right number of cuts, and surely worth watching. See the YouTube link below.

Passenger” leaves me with mixed feelings. KINGDOM OF GIANTS deliver a solid and very professional Modern Metal album with a few melodic Metalcore elements. The sound is a mixture of pre-dominantly melodic and harmonic elements. The heavier elements give the album some dynamics and sharpness, but they are too rare. The song structures of those tracks where harmonic and emotional elements dominate are repetitive and those songs are indistinguishable from each other. “Passenger” really lacks any highlights. The production of the album is very good and it will be interesting to see in which direction KINGDOM OF GIANTS heading with future releases.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Two Suns
2. Night Shift
3. Sync
4. Side Effect
5. 00397
6. Burner
7. Wayfinder
8. Blue Dream
9. Sleeper
10. Bleach
11. Lost Hills
12. The Ride
Dana Willax – Vocals
Stephen Martin – Guitars
Max Bremer ­ Guitars
Matt Harwell – Drums
Levi Norris – Bass
Stephen Rezza – Keyboards, Vocals
Record Label: Sharptone Records


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