My introduction to The King is Blind was their ‘Bleeding the Ascension’ demo which the band very kindly gave away free on their bandcamp page a few months ago, and I was sucked in by their threatening rumble from the very off. Featuring ex-members of Cradle of Filth, Entwined and Extreme Noise Terror, their debut EP ‘The Deficiencies of Man’ sees them hook up with long running British label Mordgrimm for a slice of yet more insalubrious thunderings.
This 4 track EP opens with ‘A Thousand Burning Temples’, a song that starts out with eerily buzzing electronica and chanting, slowly building into a rattling crescendo of pounding drums and tremolo picked disharmony. Like an out of control freight train barely keeping on its tracks, this track batters its point home with broken toothed glee. The main thing I most loved about their demo was the fact it actually featured proper old school riffs, rather than a blur of distortion – and they continue that great trend here, particularly notable in ‘Of Osiris and Execration’. Here, the proceedings take a more bouncy and melodic edge for the main riff, before they scythe through your brain matter with seething discordance, and pound your bones with a neck snapping almost Sabbath-ian groove come the midway point – great stuff indeed.
‘Thorns That Pierce the Skull’ smashes your face with a down tuned blast furnace of riffage, somewhat akin to Slayer’s ‘Chemical Warfare’ if it were to be played on stringed instruments strung with steel rope rather than guitar strings, and fronted by Satan himself rather than Tom Araya. Vocally I must say the nail is definitely hit on the head too, with Steve’s growls and bellows all seeming to drop in right where you want them to be, complementing the riffage and accentuating the music with their percussive nature. Last up is ‘Revelation Apocalypse’, coming on strongly, channelling equal parts Celtic Frost and early Neurosis – billowing dissonance and chugging distain. All too soon the EP has ended, and you’re left feeling hungry for more.
The fact that these guys got signed up for the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock this year by the power of their demo material alone should speak volumes for the ongoing quality of their combined efforts. The King may be blind, but the music has 20/20 vision so far as I can see – definitely one to keep an ear out for.
(7.5/10 Lars Christiansen)