For I Am King is back with a new album.
Formed in 2013 in the Netherlands following the demise of All Heads Rise, the band led by Alma Alizadeh (vocals), Jurgen van Straaten (bass, ex-guitarist) and Wouter Cammelbeeck (guitar), accompanied by Koen Scheepens (guitar) and more recently Ivo Maarhuis (drums, ex-Izegrim), announces the release of Crown, their third album, for 2023.
After a rather dark and airy introduction, Avarice gradually reveals heavy riffs coupled with heady leads before the mix becomes faster as vocal parts come in. The abrasive aggressiveness sometimes gives way to heavy but melodious sounds, while Liars will try to bewitch us before hitting with oppressive jerky riffs to which the screams fit perfectly. Even when the rhythmic slows down, the vocalist manages to make the moment intense, just like on Trojans which is more accessible with catchy and lighter tones. The energetic double kick parts and worked leads are still present in this rhythmic track with an epic final which guides us to Pariah, a slightly quieter composition where the band welcomes John Henry (Darkest Hour) for a striking duet placed under the sign of a fiery melancholy. Barriers recaptures the band’s raw energy with modern influences while allowing hints of Old School Melodic Death Metal to surface between waves of energy, and then leads carry us through to Oblivion, which sounds like the track you’ll need to mosh to when the band plays it. The musicians obviously do not hesitate to include more majestic elements as usual, creating a striking contrast that will also be found on Sinners and its visceral rage which turns into unifying energy. The final will come to soothe the minds before Bloodline gradually lets saturation come back while keeping this rather soft and heady approach, except on this brutal and icy moshpart. The long solo cleverly reminds us of the band’s roots, while opening the way to Disciples, the last track, which offers a warlike rhythm on which leads find their place as much as vocal parts, and which will leave us on this final scream, « For I Am King ».
I’ve been hearing about For I Am King for a long time, but I’ve never taken the time to listen to them, and Crown makes me wish I had done so before. The album is perfectly balanced between modernity and Old School, very rhythmic, and above all extremely powerful!