SMS #107 | King Kraken – MCLXXX


The opening moments of Devils Night hold a tonne of promise as giddy excitement builds within you, and predictably, the band live up to that prospect with a quintessential rock banger; great chorus, great vocals, great rhythm, great solos, the works. The guys next unleash total awesome hell with Bastard Liar, which they rage through at a scorching breakneck tempo that has you breathless as you press to keep up, and the guitars on here are on the most impressively supreme form imaginable. Green Terror is a real catchy winner echoing with hard, tough drumming, Veins is another which is feverishly wild and relentless, and the devious Haddonfield 78 features undoubtedly the most entertaining and investing lyrics of the pack to this point, and the explosive breakdown in the middle third is worthy of a chef’s kiss

Jeez Louise, halfway through and I already feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth, but blessedly there’s still more to come, beginning with the damn cool Man Made Monster, followed up by the fearsomely thumping Walls Of Jericho, boasting some of the record’s most incredibly imposing singing, as well as rumbling bass tones, rattling beats, more fun solos and a cracking hook. There’s an intimidating sense of threat behind the creeping Crucible-themed Proctors Ledge before they knock it up to the next roaring gear. Chaos Engine keeps the energetic hysteria very much alive, and the writing resonates well in the brutish Castle Of Bone.

There does not exist enough words in the dictionary to fully sum up the debut full-length effort from the Welsh heavy unit. The whole album gives you a titanic kick right up the arse with a nonstop electrifying stamina, every song is a crushing bullseye, the performances are always on fire, and there’s not a single moment of weakness or boredom. King Kraken have efficiently set a high bar for other rock and metal acts to follow in 2023, but good luck trying to match this behemoth.

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