KYNG – Breathe In The Water [REVIEW]

Keeping it healthy for the heavy metal genre is So Cal trio Kyng who aren’t afraid to shy away from conventional norms. Their latest album ‘Breathe In The Water’ aims to show how they are still smashing their music with crunchy riffs, fast paced action and why they deserved to be on tours with acts such as Black Label Society and Clutch. With this record now being their third instalment into the era of Kyng, they show that they haven’t slowed down and are still able to bring the big guns.

The guitars on this record stay prominent throughout and provide a very powerful punch whilst staying in line with the rest of the band. Hearing the beautiful cleaner sections in intros such as ‘Closer To The End’ and then getting thrown into a southern banger like ‘Follow Blindly’ shows how meticulous they were about creating something special and unworldly. The bass tone as well adds so much depth into the entire record that it helps elevate each of the fourteen tracks that are provided. The acoustic interlude provided in the song ‘The Beginning of What Was’ is another enjoyable element towards the later part of the album and helps split everything up evenly.

As well as the guitars being a strong part of the field, the drums help an awful lot with making this record such a brilliant listen. Not going over the top and trying be its own unique entity is what makes this album that much more well-rounded and helps each track feel special in its own right. A great track that shows this is the opener ‘Pristine Warning’ as its one of the most high-octane tracks on the record.  When it goes to the more toned down and ballad-esque tracks like ‘Show Me Your Love’ which utilises all their past knowledge and they incorporate it very professionally into this song.

Eddie Veliz’s vocals are at one with this record. Within previous one you get the feeling that they were lacking in their punch in the production on the record but this whole record as whole improves that tenfold, especially in the vocal area. ‘Bipolar Schemes’ pushes just the single toned vocals to a newer level than previous record ‘Burn The Serum’ with terms of projection sound. As for harmonies, tracks like ‘Not Enough’ get drenched in them! The mix of tones are tastefully done and even though they sometimes get overpowered by the rest of the instrumentation, its nice to hear them hit different octaves to spread across the bass/treble mixing.

Third time is most definitely the charm when it comes to Kyng. With heartfelt riffs and a powerful selection of songs to get through, they definitely keep you mostly intrigued from start to finish. This will definitely be in a high ranking of your favourite albums if you enjoy throwing the devil horns or even holding up your can of beer. Rock on, Kyng!

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Released: 7th October 2016
For Fans Of: Black Stone Cherry / Metallica
Label: Razor & Tie

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Over the past two decades, Relapse Records have brought us some of the most seminal albums in metal history. They hold a catalog of releases, that between 1990 and the present day, boasts titles such as Neurosis’ ground-breaking Through Silver In Blood, the first three Dillinger Escape Plan albums and Mastodon’s goliath sophomore effort Leviathan. It’s a feat only matched by fellow metal titans Roadrunner Records, who have adopted a slightly more mainstream focus as of late. So kudos to Relapse for gathering a diverse, if no less heavy roster, and further credit to them for upcoming release Only Ghosts from Portland’s Red Fang, which echoes the spirit of Relapse’s past, all the while dragging it kicking and screaming into 2016.

Only Ghosts begins with a thudding kick drum and southern-fried guitars before kicking into a surge of guttural yells from guitarist Bryan Giles. It leads to an eerily memorable vocal refrain by bassist Aaron Beam in which he confesses “You know that I can’t sleep, I’ve been awake for weeks, and someone’s dying”. Flies is everything you could want from an opening track, rampaging out of the speakers with gusto and ending with a veritable smorgasbord of savage leads. Cut it Short continues the riff-a-thon. All swaggering guitars and desert vibes, it proves to be one of the most accessible songs in the bands catalog, while the Queens Of The Stone Age meets Mastodon grooves of No Air packs enough punch to topple buildings.

Unlike the slightly muddier sounds of previous releases, Only Ghosts finds the band sounding absolutely vast in comparison . The drums of John Sherman in particular, pushed right up front, every tom roll sounding seismic, every snare hit driving the record forward. This helps the all-out rock of Not For You to sound as polished as more mainstream acts, but doesn’t take away from the raw grime of tracks like album centerpiece The Smell Of Sound which mirrors the brutal, sluggish pace of bands like Crowbar and EyeHateGod.

A comparison could be made to ex-label mates Mastodon, with towering screams and murky clean vocals over a punishing metal backdrop. Truth be told, they do share a similar sound, but what Red Fang may lack in true pioneering spirit, they make up for in sheer, forceful rock n’ roll power. The likes of I Am A Ghost, which comes across like a Lemmy-fronted doom band and the mid-section shred of Shadows, sound truly feral.

Red Fang have worked intensely hard to get to Only Ghosts. Previous releases such as 2013’s Whales and Leeches showed the band helm their influences into a mixing pot of dark, technical malice, but a heavy touring schedule and acquired studio savvy have helped Red Fang truly master their craft here. On this, their third album, the band sound bigger, grimier and even catchier but lose none of their fire in the process. Whether it be at a snail-pace grind or a foot-on-the-accelerator pummel, Only Ghosts is a filthy, bruising riot from start to finish and a sure-fire contender for album of the year.

Red Fang Debut New Track

American Hard Rockers Red Fang have recently debuted new track Not For You on The Radio 1 Rock Show. The track comes from the band’s new record Only Ghosts which the band have just begun an extensive autumn tour for, with a month of UK/European dates with Torche and God Damn, followed by another month of U.S. dates. You can hear Not For You below.

Only Ghosts is released through Relapse Records on October 14th and you can catch the band on the following dates.

2nd October –  Birmingham, Institute2
3rd October –  Glasgow, Garage
4th October –  Newcastle, Riverside
5th October –  Southampton, Engine Rooms