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King Heavy : Guardian Demons

Good in some respects, weaker in others, the King Heavy sophomore makes for a reasonable Trad Doom outing.

'Guardian Demons' is the second full-length release from Chilean doomsters King Heavy. Generally speaking, Chilean bands that I come across in this industry nowadays tend to be Death/Doom bands so it made a refreshing change to find one playing some epic Traditional Doom!

Cards on the table, though - Traditional Doom is not one of my preferred sub-genres to listen to. It's not that I dislike the music; it's more that I don't really have a mood or state of mind in which it's a good time to listen to it. Therefore, my ability to compare this band to any other in the sub-genre will be somewhat limited.

However, in general, I found 'Guardian Demon' was startlingly reminiscent of Candlemass so perhaps I needn't have worried about comparisons. I'm sure more well-versed members of the Doom parish will be able to assist with any further comparisons if required!

Technically speaking, I enjoyed this album. I thought it sounded polished, the riffs were powerful, the drumming was good. There was an underlying layer of menace to the music, which I found particularly enjoyable. Essentially, the band produced something I wasn't at all expecting and that was a very pleasant surprise.

Did I enjoy the album overall, though? It was 50/50 for me. As much as I enjoyed the band's proficiency with their instruments, I thought that they let themselves down on two fronts. The first is that the vocals don't seem quite powerful enough to enhance this epic Traditional Doom, which is needed to take it to the next level. The second is that the compositions never seem to go anywhere. When I listen to old school approaches, the bare minimum I expect is that the songs have good structures but for all of their technical qualities, King Heavy fail on that front.

It's a shame, really. All of the pieces are in place for 'Guardian Demons' to be a very good album. Even the production of the inlay and general layout is very good! My only cribs are that the songs don't seem to have any real direction and that the vocals don't seem quite powerful enough, although a good direction to the tracks could easily aid in overlooking such. Bluntly put, there is a lot of potential here that King Heavy has yet to fully tap into.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Guardian Demon
2. (Death Is But An Extreme Form Of) Narcosis
3. Doom Shall Rise
4. Cult The Cloven Hoof
5. Come My Disciples
6. As In A Nightmare

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the King Heavy bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-09-10 by Ian Morrissey
Rotten Copper
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