I seem to be spending a lot of time recently talking about the nature of hype. Whether it be gimmick metal or Upon a Burning Body, hype is currently getting a lot of… well, hype. This brings me onto King 810, a band who in recent months have been hyped up more than any band in a long time. Hailing from Flint, Michigan, famous mainly for murder and em, Terry Crews, this band of misfits have spoken at depth about the rigors of their upbringing, it’s a remarkable story and if you can get your hands on it, Dom Lawson’s feature in last months Metal Hammer is a must read. However, the question has to be whether underneath all of this, King 810 have the music to back it up.
The most obvious reference point for Memoirs of a Murderer comes in the form of the first Slipknot album. Lead singer David Gunn has a roar that is very reminiscent of Mr. Taylor and the tempo changes and breakdowns that are prevalent throughout the album, are very reminiscent of the ‘Knot at their heaviest. Yet this doesn’t hide the fact that the heavier tracks on this album do verge on the generic. The lyrical content may be real, but tracks like “Killem All” and “Desperate Lovers” are not that special.
Where King 810 become really interesting is when they mix it up, to different levels of success. “Eyes” is a slow, melancholic track with an electronic backing, that see’s Gunn ditching the roars for more soft and vulnerable vocals. It’s a fragility he displays again on “boogeyman” and it turns that song into an album highlight. While the almost country “devil don’t cry” stands out as a simple acoustic track, that hints at songwriting abilities maybe not displayed in some of the more straight up metal moments. Elsewhere, the spoken word of “anatomy 1:2” and “anatomy 1:3” doesn’t quite have the same effect. Both are over 4 minutes long, which is far too long for tracks of that nature, and shows up that no matter how true the lyrical content might be, when framed in that way it just feels slightly ridiculous.
This doesn’t disguise the fact that this is a fascinating debut album, because when it all comes together this kind of works. King 810 seem to have the balls to do something a bit different and even when they are going down the generic route it’s strong enough material that they could easily be onto something big. Tracks like “Carve My Name” have a creepy intensity to them, that has a danger element which is often lacking in modern music. Unsurprisingly, considering the hype, a scan on the more popular social media sites suggests that this is a band who are going to be a bit Marmite, you’re either gonna love it or hate it, and I have to admit that after a couple of listens I think I’m going to fall on the side of the hype.