King Nine craft a dynamic, gripping, and hard hitting soundscape on their 2018 Closed Casket Activities release Death Rattle. The (generally) hardcore band released their debut Scared to Death all the way back in 2013, but the artists who’ve stuck around through those years and lineup changes haven’t lost their edge. Their latest work performs a magnificent balancing act, maintaining its unique character in the face of any number of pitfalls that could befall it.
Musically, King Nine take the listener in a generally hardcore direction, but their sound has a thickness to it that makes it refreshing. There’s a thrill that pervades the listener’s experience; the band doesn’t just leave them hanging and grasping for something to latch onto. They blend an apparent place in hardcore style with their own personal and well-polished blend of directions and influences, and the result jumps out and demands attention.
Instead of some apparent concern to be “palatable” and simplified, manifesting in breakdown-laden material, the band takes great stylistic aspects from wherever they please in forming their dynamic, and honestly pretty brutal, sound. Not necessarily when it comes to the specifics of the sound, but they feel reminiscent of Jesus Piece as exemplified on that band’s well-received 2018 debut record, Only Self. Like Jesus Piece, King Nine chart and stick to their own path through heavy music, and it works great.
While the band seemingly understands the usefulness of atmosphere underlying a musical storm, they don’t veer off their course in their incorporation of that. For King Nine, this manifests in a perfectly fitting, general lack of lengthy, atmospheric interludes or anything along those lines.
Although they remain dynamic and varied, they’re also unified in their presentation. Through each twist and turn King Nine’s work takes, there’s a sense that they know what they’re doing on a practical level and what they want to be doing on a more artistic one. These senses contribute greatly to their work’s poignant nature. Not only have they illuminated a whole mess of exciting musical chaos, they’ve staked a claim for themselves in the middle of it all as exemplified on Death Rattle.