We’ve feature Vanquish the King a couple of times before. Twice as Band of the Day (oops) and more recently about a year ago when they reformed (partly – it’s a semi-new line-up) with the promise of making things bigger and better. Well, here we are with that big thing… their debut album, Dethroned.
“Dream of Demise”, the track we checked out a year ago, isn’t on the EP which consists of seven (very well produced) songs. As with their older material, you can grab it on bandcamp. It’s only $5 for digital or $7.50 for a CD copy.
Style-wise it’s death metal / metalcore with appropriate harsh vocals, but a good line in hooks and simply, catchy riffs. The closest major act that immediately springs to mind is Lamb of God, but there’s something different about Vanquish the King which does set them apart. It could be the way the lyrics suddenly change into clean/choral towards the end of “Memories” or the brief spoken word alongside a more traditional metal guitar sound as “Faithless” draws to a close.
New singer Chris Lear definitely has a more guttural style of singing, but with additional depth and variety. Think Cannibal Corpse’s George Fisher as much as the aforementioned LoG’s Randy Blythe. This alongside the twin guitars of Tyler Joyse and Jesse Simonson creates the mix of styles that make Vanquish the King hard to pin down precisely. Mackenzie Hatfield on bass and Cameron Joyce on drums (and some vocals) certainly aren’t along for the ride, though. Their rhythmic assault keeps everything steamroller-ing along nicely.
“Aneurysm” is another track which features clean and filthy vocals, and brings an interesting twist to things as a result. It’s one of the faster-paced tracks as well, and I can see it tearing up many dancefloors with the crowd pausing only to join in the singing mid-chorus. The clean vocals on “Stand in Silence” are a little intrusive, though, smothering the rest of the track in places. It’s a different sound and perhaps something the band were experimenting with, but for me it doesn’t quite work.
Production is good, bass is meaty and there are some nice uses of stereo and the like which makes it a joy with headphones. Ideal for me to listen to with the cans on once the kids are in bed!
Overall, this is a cracking release and many of the tracks seems to have been written with the words “live show” emblazoned in lights at the forefront of the bands’ minds. This isn’t music you can stay still to. As I type, my foot is tapping and I’m pausing now and again to air drum (yes, that’s sad but screw you – I’m enjoying it). If I had hair I’d be swinging it around.
There’s no excuse for not checking it out. It’s free to listen to and cheap enough to grab a high quality copy.