OK, so it’s certainly not the most original moniker (to be fair, they are from Chile), but hey, King Heavy kinda has a nice ring to it. Don’t know much about these guys, being that this is their debut album, but they are signed to Cruz del Sur, home of Argus, Apostle of Solitude and Atlantean Kodex, so that’s certainly a good start.
This album opens with a pretty decent trad-doom riff in its own right, “La Gargola” looming ominously overtop the evil castle. But they pick up the pace to a pounding mid-tempo akin to 80’s metal acts like Diamond Head or Angel Witch, before bringing it back down to a crawl, complete with semi-whispered vocals. Singer sounds like a deeper, more gravelly Messiah Marcolin, which may or may not be a bad thing. (Personally, I prefer Johan Längqvist.)
“Life AD” is a bit more mid-paced off the bat, but with some pretty solid riffs you can headbang to. But it also gets dragged down into a slowed-down morass, pretty doomy but not particularly memorable. I’m actually reminded a little of mid-paced, latter-day Maiden for whatever reason.
Most of the album treads the same power-doom path as some of the acts mentioned in the first paragraph, with Argus in particular as a strong point of comparison, although 11-minute album closer “He Who Spoke in Tongues” brings the Kodex to mind, but its overly repetitive refrain in the past two minutes makes my head hurt. OK, we get that he has spoken in tongues. You didn’t need to tell us 27 times!
All told, this outfit doesn’t quite measure up to some of its more impressive labelmates. It seems the emperor needs new clothes…