King Leviathan

Paean Heretica

Written by: MAK on 29/07/2017 16:40:13

A couple of months back I mentioned how I discovered Bleed Again when they opened up for Darkest Hour, oddly enough that very same show is the night I also encountered Brighton’s own blackened thrash quartet, King Leviathan, for the first time. They hooked me in with their humorous manner between songs that were absolutely jam packed with shredding riffs. Since then I have watched them grow in the British metal scene, having performed at Bloodstock, and Mammothfest on many occasions. King Leviathan’s EP, ‘The Shrine’ in 2015 grabbed the attention of many that focused on underground metal in the United Kingdom, however, their debut album ‘Paean Heretica’ feels like the right push the Brighton lads need to establish themselves deeper within the wider metal scene.

To set the scene, King Leviathan front the gimmick of metal cultists, sporting black crosses on their faces as they perform, spreading their “Black Mass” to the cult of Leviathan. With song names such as "Coffin Swallower", topically their songs aren’t for the faint hearted, for example, “Agony” is about sexual masochism. Their music matches the dark themes, monstrous riffs with equally beastly vocals, that’s the dominating factor of King Leviathan, yet this time around the melodic side is showing in greater detail, only adding a sinister atmosphere to their core sound.

A song such as "Kingdom" shines as a real step up in songwriting for this four-piece, opening with the crunchiest of riffs that would make Sylosis proud. Adam Sedgwick’s savage roars placed on top of the domineering shreds are balanced out by his epic cleans. The track is incredibly up tempo for the first half as the drummer, Danny Yates, rampantly provides us with forceful double pedal blasts and erratic drum patterns. The track slows down midway, only to become more monumental, revealing mind melting fiddly guitar solos. The tone of the track is so theatrical and this atmosphere is mimicked many times throughout the album; especially in the closer “The Grand Congregation”. Tracks such as “Sanctification” and “Harrowing Eyes” stand out to me as the true pit starters though, the aggressive attitude just shines more, the riffs are a lot more forceful and the beats are somewhat more chaotic, they just blend perfectly to create the most vicious of live atmospheres, even, when they do push that melodic influences to the forefront in each song.

Until now, I’ve always preferred King Leviathan live to their studio work, "The Shrine” was really good and had a couple of awesome anthems, but they never quite matched the live energy that is incredibly appealing. “Paean Heretica”, however, is a massive improvement and incredibly alluring with how dark it gets, it’s an album that encapsulates the real King Leviathan aura. Production for this release is a lot crisper, without losing that raw atmosphere that metal sometimes needs. The songwriting feels a lot more ambitious, a real blend of beauty meets the beast, but it works so well and still feels strongly like a King Leviathan release. This is a fantastic debut from the Brighton lads, and far more of an interesting listen than originally expected.


Download: Sanctification, Kingdom
For The Fans Of: Wretched Soul, Sylosis

Release date 05.08.2017
Infernum Records

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