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King Giant: Southern Darkness
King Giant Southern Darkness new music review

King Giant: Southern Darkness

Heavy/Doom Rock/Metal
3.5/5.0

Looking like an amalgam of bikers, bouncers, and good ol' country boys, King Giant's debuts their first full-length work Southern Darkness. King Giant storms out of America's sultry south with a sound rooted in heavy rock and metal, nearing the doom side, and echoing forbears and contemporaries like Black Sabbath, Clutch, Kyuss, and Down. Southern Darkness is mostly a thick, dark, and foreboding album in that tradition, yet with an interesting surprise informed by the southern rock heritage.

But you have to listen for that Southern rock style (as it's minimal), otherwise, you might be overwhelmed by the general and predictable heavy doom style that permeates this disc. Early in Southern Darkness this is essentially what you get. You know the riffs, and you know you're heard them before, and you ask yourself, Is there nothing new under the sun? With the exception of the almost upbeat, if that's possible, motif of 13 To, Southern Darkness hits you with a ton of bricks. Then they keep you down by loading up those bricks into a wheelbarrow and running you over.

Then Mississippi River hits you and you're like, holy shit, now this is different. Heavy rock puts on it spurs rumbles in a Southern rock, even Western, groove. (I told you it was there, even if briefly.) Interesting. The original outlaws Jennings, Cash or Nelson might have something to say about this. But does it continue? Mostly no. Rather, to the end, King Giant returns to the slow heavy/doom rock/metal, and sometimes sounds like collision between Kyuss, Sabbath, and Metallica, as on Hollow, with the usual consequences. Yet, if you dig the style, you'll be happy as Florida alligator invading a chicken farm. King Giant rounds out the album with a cover of Skynyrd's Needle and the Spoon, where the heavy rock nearly stifles the original melody and arrangement.

While my hope was for more adventurous, southern styled, heavy tunes like Mississippi River, King Giant's Southern Darkness will surely please fans of heavy/doom rock and metal with their solid representation of the genre.




In Short

While my hope was for more adventurous, southern styled, heavy tunes like Mississippi River, King Giant's Southern Darkness will surely please fans of heavy/doom rock and metal with their solid representation of the genre.

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