Album Review: King Kraken – MCLXXX – Metal Planet Music – Metal Planet Music

Review by Richard Henry for MPM
These guys are a 5-piece outfit from Wales, I have to admit a new band for me, so let’s dig into this album and see what they are about!
Track 1 – Devils Night
Nice intro bass line, leading into a nice crunchy riff, almost like a Volbeat meets Savatage kind of thing, once the vocals kick in though I immediately though of COC Deliverance era in sound, nice production, not super clean and has a good grit to it, the lead into the verse is abrupt with the drums changing time, it’s a good driving track, we get a half time breakdown after the second chorus, nice solo then kicks in and back into the chorus again before another breakdown leading to the end of the song.
Track 2 – Bastard Liar
Ok, so completely different in vibe from track one, this could be an almost Slayer riff at the start of this, before we get into a steady double kick verse, this one has definitely a more thrash vibe to it, I do hear a bit of Machine Head influence in the chorus with its off-time riff and vocals, key change during the solo and going between time feels, the part coming out of solo though just feels misplaced before we kick back in again to a verse, we kick into a breakdown at the end of the song, I think this would have been better served as a fade out rather than a minute at the end of the track.
Track 3 – Green Terror
Again, a different feel, this has an almost Deftones type riff, almost bouncy in a way, and again it’s a sort of different vocal delivery, some parts sound like Disturbed even in vocal delivery, reminds me of the song Prayer now the more I think about it, the chorus itself is strong and singable, nice melodic solo over a half time feel, then a bit more shredding over the second part of the solo, some nice playing in there, then an off time riff leading into again like a thrash metal riff, leading back into the chorus again, good track!
Track 4 – Veins
Another catchy riff, this one starts a little bit more stripped back, then starts to build with a second guitar, all the time building in intensity, some nice backing vocals in the pre chorus, then you are into the chorus, middle section has a sort of NYHC vibe and riff, maybe just me but I am getting hardcore vibe from that middle part, again possibly thinking COC on this as well, great solo, melodic in most parts with a bit of stretching out, builds again and the drummer is getting a workout on this one, however it just ends, I feel like that should have went back into a chorus, feels like it’s a bit disjointed, which is a pity as it’s a good track in the most part
Track 5 – Haddonfield 78
Mid-tempo driver of a track here, nice groove to it, Pantera esque as it builds, the verse changes the song up a bit, before the chorus lends itself to a bit more of an aggressive vocal delivery, it’s got a ton of groove. Middle section kicks in slowly, and then its 100% Lamb of God inspired in both the vocal delivery but also in the drum patterns, again great guitar solos in this one, not so smooth going from tempo in the solo back to the chorus again.
Track 6 – Man Made Monster
Great riff to kick this off, really nice interplay between the drums and the riff on this, also a really excellent vocal on this showing off a bit of range as well as aggression, total headbanger, this live will totally get a room going, another blinding solo, the middle section is really cool with the guitars before another solo, probably the one song with the least tempo changes and parts but I really think it benefits from that as its just solid from start to finish, keeps the groove and intensity going from start to finish, best track so far!
Track 7 – Walls of Jericho
Once you get past the intro, which for me is a no, the actual main riff is a banger and would have made a better start to the song, unfortunately we get another disjointed section coming in after a min which serves nothing for me for the song as the riff after it is awesome, there is a great song in here but it is so disjointed its ruined for me.
Track 8 – Proctors Ledge
Groove, this is right a proper COC Deliverance style track, and it is glorious, the verse is a bit more laid back before kicking into the heavier chorus, it works so well, then laying back into the groove again, absolutely loving his one. Gets into a really heavy middle section where it starts to move forward in intensity, but it still flows in the song, great solo coming in as the riff breaks back down again, really good track, well put together!
Track 9 – Chaos Engine
Bouncing riff on this, this is from the start a great track, much like the last one, it has groove for days but a bit more up tempo in feel, combining screams and vocals there is more aggression but the riffs, one after another, again this at a gig will have the whole place moving, we get to the middle and it breaks down into a half time almost Sabbath sounding section, great solo, it just flows really well, great track!
Track 10 – Castle of Bone
The Sabbath vibes keep coming on this one, more down paced, but just solid riff after riff and a great chorus comes up, good vocal delivery, bit of an off-time section before hitting back to the verse, deep groove in the middle section before we start to kick up the paced before hitting the solo, then back into the groove again.
I would score this 7/10
I feel that the last 3 tracks are the strongest on the album as they have a common thread a vibe, some of the songs could be really good but are disjointed and the first half of the album is jumping genres every song, whereas the last three feel cohesive as they are all beside each other, don’t get me wrong there are some great tracks on the first half of the album but as a whole it’s hard to know what is the band going for as it’s a bit all over the place, my opinion mind but that’s how I feel about it!
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