SMS | KING HISS – Earthquaker


Sludge quartet KING HISS have over the years cemented themselves as one of the top dogs in the Belgian rock scene, and if their forthcoming third album – Earthquaker – is anything to go by, there are set to climb even further up the ranks, because this is an absolute blinder we’ve got on our hands here.

For starters, Jan’s voice is a thing of beauty, covering a broad range and donning a firm, assertive power. While he keeps himself occupied, Josh bashes out these heaving, aggressive guitar tones that are so freaking scuzzy, adding an effectively resonating punch to each track, while the hard-edged bass lines from Visioene are oozing with dankness and Jason’s drums hit with a potent weight behind them.

Throughout, it never feels like they stick to the one format. Whether subtly or noticeably, they are constantly changing it up and as a result, I’m never bored and stay hot on the hype train.

You get a ripe selection of strong mid-tempo pieces like Kilmister, Black Wolf and the titular number, intermixed with these all-out assaults where they blast through with full intensity at a ridiculously high speed, including Revolt and the damn catchy Desertsurfer.

And you know what, the music itself is so glorious that the writing could be taken for granted, but the lyrics are genuinely good and worth paying attention to, being at their best in the likes of Vomit, Sum Of All Nightmares and the monumental Butcher.

End to end, this is a supreme effort, with the four easily crafting together a candidate for the single best heavy record I’ve heard to have come out of mainland Europe in the entirety of 2019. The negatives are at a bare minimum while the positives excel at an optimum. How in the hell are these guys not bigger?



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