King“GROOVE” is the word, when it comes to ‘Reclaim The Darkness’, the debut album from Australian band KING.

Dynamic blackened metal, with melody and plenty of (…I’m gonna say it again…) GROOVE!

KING were formed in 2013 by David Hill (guitar) and Tony Forde (vocals), with David Haley joining on drums the following year. Their look at human existence, the wonders of nature and the world all around us, has been released via Indie Recordings.

Quite certainly, if you dig the trad-metal stylings of Immortal, the solid riffs of Satyricon and the intense hit of 1349, ‘Reclaim The Darkness’ has plenty to offer.

Now, you might expect an opening track entitled ‘Cold Winds’ to maybe feature the odd sound-effect or two, but you probably won’t be expecting the Morricone-esque western style of the guitar intro. The track then kicks in proper with confident, strong riffs and rasped vox, and a rather Paradise Lost-ian lead break.

The piratey swing and warrior attitude of ‘Reclaim The Darkness’ further impresses with its catchiness, and ‘All In Black’ screams out with urgency, but keeps its tech-metal sensibilities fully in check.

A prominent bass growl heralds the arrival of the inspirational ‘My Destination The Stars’, with the vocals sounding most Satyr-like, and ‘Night Sky Abyss’ features a lyric that pretty much sums up the overall theme of the album.

“I inhale the universe”.

The free-flowing runs and cheeky drum blasts of ‘Winter Sons’ and the strong, forceful nature of ‘Black North’ continues the quality of music present on the album, with the latter track really upping the groove factor. The acoustic break and military drumming giving way to an impressive lead.

The frostbitten ‘The Journey Begins’ and the final track, ‘One World One King’ conclude the record in great style, clearly showing that KING have crafted an album with every track proving as strong as the last.

Powerful, tightly arranged (but still packing a considerable amount of swing), and with a nice line in almost Celtic flavouring, ‘Reclaim The Darkness’ presents its honour and majesty with force and effectiveness.

KING admirably reign with this highly recommended release.

(8.5/10 Stuart Carroll)