kiNg 810 COURTESANS/DEATH BLOOMS

Flint’s ni­hilis­tic met­allers re­veal the trauma be­hind the ter­ror

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Reviews | Albums. Lives. Merch. - DANNII LEIVERS

only other time King 810 toured the UK, they per­formed be­hind po­lice tape, ac­com­pa­nied by masked ‘hench­men’ wield­ing baseball bats and replica guns. As such, an­tic­i­pa­tion for what lies in store hangs over a sold-out Un­der­world. Up first and play­ing to an al­ready busy room, DEATH BLOOMS’ [7] punk and hard­core-in­fused met­al­core throt­tle gets bod­ies mov­ing. Next, Lon­don-based doom-pop­pers COURTESANS [6] are a gritty propo­si­tion, meld­ing hip hop beats, dark melodies and 90s-in­spired alt rock, though son­i­cally, they’re a tad out of place.

So far, KING 810 [8] have un­der­taken this tour with­out gui­tarist Andrew Beale and again, tonight the band are per­form­ing as a three-piece with a back­ing track. It’s pretty dis­ap­point­ing – no met­aller comes to a live show to hear pre-recorded gui­tar parts and

King 810 wouldn’t have got away with it in a big­ger venue. But in the con­fines of The Un­der­world, with Eu­gene Gill’s bass jacked up to mon­strous lev­els and as front­man David Gunn hits the stage with the im­pact of a 10-ton truck, the sheer heav­i­ness of opener Heavy Lies The Crown erad­i­cates any sense that some­thing’s miss­ing. There are no threat­en­ing props this time, save for a shad­owy fig­ure in the back cor­ner wield­ing a lap­top. In­stead, the band let their colos­sal sonic on­slaught do the talk­ing and Al­pha & Omega and

War Out­side ex­plode with the ra­bid in­ten­sity of two griz­zly bears slog­ging it out to the death. How­ever, this is more than a one-di­men­sional show of force. A sam­ple-heavy ren­di­tion of Tied To The Whip­ping Post is played with­out vo­cals, bring­ing to­gether King’s myr­iad metal and hip hop in­flu­ences. And while some have dis­missed the band as wannabe hard men, talk­ing the big talk through fla­grantly ag­gres­sive lyrics, there’s real emo­tional and phys­i­o­log­i­cal trauma be­hind

David’s words. The hor­ror and de­spair in the lyrics to Ven­det­tas and Write About Us can only come from some­one who has gen­uinely stared death, crim­i­nal vi­o­lence and so­cial de­pri­va­tion in the face. Even on pit-bat­ter­ers Killem All and Fat Around The Heart, his vit­riol speaks for the un­em­pow­ered, lay­ing bare the bru­tal re­al­ity of life in a place like the home­town of Flint, Michi­gan.

Yet it’s clear in the mo­ments when the band pull back to let David’s pained, whis­pered po­etry fill the room, his deep voice heavy with the weight of the things he’s seen, that there’s so much more to King 810 than meets the eye.

A fan feels the full force of a point-blank Gunn

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