For I Am King
With seemingly every new band trying to add a new wrinkle to existing genres, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded why good ol’ staples are so fun. Dutch upstarts For I Am King traffic in a very familiar form of highly melodic death metal. They are clearly influenced by At The Gates, Soilwork, and The Agonist, and some early metalcore elements seep through the cracks. Fear not, as there are no sung choruses or overlong breakdowns to muddy the waters. For I Am King may not really have a unique sound, but holy Hell do they know how to color very well in the lines, so to speak. These melodies are genuinely impressive, and they are diverse enough to allow these songs to flow yet feel distinct. Given the fact that most of these songs come from the same playbook, that’s an impressive feat.
That’s not to say there are no surprises. “Tantalus” starts out with a chugged riff and a fear that the band finally let those metalcore ideas grow too strongly before letting a neat little melody rip, and off the song goes. “Hades” sounds like a Still Remains song, with a strong Gothenburg riff/melody combo and a teeny breakdown. “Des-Troy” adds a small amount of groove into the riff department to great effect. Basically, so much of Daemons works in large part because of how fun it is. I am often reminded of great bands of yesteryear in riffs and melodies, more in feel and tone than flat-out plagiarism, but that’s part of the band’s charm.
In search of their own sound, For I Am King are playing music they want to hear, and thankfully, they want to hear excellently done melodeath. It can occasionally feel a tad recycled, but for the most part, Daemons delivers the melodies and riffs quite well. This is quite an accomplished debut. (Nicholas Senior)