Written by Kyle Smith. Media by Michael Trieb.
Following a self-released debut album, Fit For A King signed with Solid State Records in 2011. Their first album, Creation|Destruction, with Solid State was just recently released (March 12), and it is an excellent beginning album with which both the band and Solid State should be quite pleased. From the starting gate, Creation|Destruction comes out strong with the song “Warpath,” a heavy opener that immediately presents FFAK’s unique mix of technical precision and gutsy groove.
What probably stood out to me most in the album is FFAK’s command of space. So often in the current metal scene, the sound is defined by an attempt to show off the band’s chops by filling the music out with more and more riffs at faster and faster tempos. While this ability can be extremely impressive, and the sound is definitive of many good metal bands, I am always pleased to hear a band that breaks from this mentality and leaves a bit more open space in their sound. FFAK pulls off this latter type of metal music masterfully while contrasting this with inclusion of driving speed and technical ability. It is obvious throughout that FFAK possesses all-around ability to pull off fairly technical and difficult music, but FFAK also purposefully opens up some of the riffs, creating refreshing bits of space. Listen to the intro to “Warpath” or the guitar riff in the second verse of “The Resistance” for good examples. Through this open space, FFAK creates a somewhat “groovy” sound while retaining a heavy metallic edge. This grooved metal sound is quite appreciated and speaks well to FFAK’s musical awareness and maturity.
On top of FFAK’s contrast between technicality and groove, Creation|Destruction includes tasty little bits of ear candy that speak of quality production on this record that adds to FFAK’s unique voice. Throughout the album, the band utilizes bits of electronica to create ambiance mixed with melodic content from synthesized keys. A great example of this can be found in the intro of “The Resistance.” Also, while gruffly screamed lyrics dominate the album, melodic vocals are included as a tasteful contrast, demonstrating FFAK’s diverse musical abilities. (See the intro and melodic vocal part of “Broken Fame” as well as the album’s ballad, “Skin & Bones.”) Last but not least, at least for me, is the sound of the tom fills throughout the album. It is difficult to record toms in a way that they sound full and colorful in a way that they don’t sound overpowering, tubby, or flappy, and FFAK achieved it on this album. For this, listen to the fills on “Hollow King (Sound Of The End)” (music video below). As a drummer myself, I greatly appreciated how sexy the drums sounded, and, while the tom fills are not necessarily an extremely important aspect of the album, they provide a good example of how Creation|Destruction contains excellent ear candy that will make you perk up and listen more closely.
Overall, Creation|Destruction is a solid, heavy, groovy metal album that speaks of musical awareness and maturity that is not often seen on a band’s sophomore album. The album is diverse enough to provide a variety of musical textures, but coherent enough to maintain a common musical thread throughout. Fit For A King has done quite well with their first Solid State album, and it will be exciting to see where they go from here musically. If you are into metal, Fit For A King would definitely be worth paying attention to.
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As well as writing for the Papyrus, Kyle Smith is a contributing writer for the music journalism website “I Am Tuned Up.” Check out iamtunedup.com for more commentary on new albums, concerts, and the latest in music industry news.