For I Am King are a 5-piece Dutch band whose debut album dropped earlier this year and simply put it is incredible. On initial listening the first surprise is just how listenable & exciting it is while the second is that the intensely heavy vocals are from a woman.
It’s a rare thing in rock & metal to see singers that are female performing ass-kicking & mind-melting vocals.
It’s the kind of thing that might cause some debate but there is no getting away from the fact that many females in rock and metal are based more in power/symphonic/pop-rock so when someone breaks from the norm & does it so well it should be celebrated.
Here, vocally…it’s incredible but only because the music backs it up. I don’t love Daemons because it’s got death metal female vocals (I found out after my initial listen), I love it because it’s 10 tracks of stonkingly good metal.
The piano melody that starts Black Death doesn’t quite prepare you for the blast of heaviness that follows it. A lovely blend of death metal vocals & kick ass riffs makes this a very strong opener. While Breathe the Fire is a fast paced, heavier & groove laden song. It shares a lot in common with Arch Enemy & Devildriver. Crushingly heavy at times with some amazing drumming.
Lost in Divinty is a brutal assault from the moment it begins, showcasing death metal with elements of thrash thrown in. Great guitar work with an awesome guitar solo before The Crone brings the groove back in a big way. The songs are flying by & the quality hasn’t diminished once.
Tantalus brings the guitar wizardry right from the word go. It’s a beat-laden track with meaty sounding bass and drums. Such a strong song, easily one of the best on the album.
Track 6 marks some brief respite from the sonic assault so far with just over a minute of guitar melodies. Called Intermission it leads nicely into Hades, a fantastic song that has some of the best riffs I’ve heard this year. That fucking chorus too…it’s groove heavy, death metal that shows innovation & an incredible song-writing ability. The guitar work throughout Daemons is worth getting excited about & it’s awesome to see that they have way more about them than just ‘female-fronted death metal vocals’.
The final 3 songs, Des-troy, Faust & We Must Obey continue the excellent form that has been present throughout so far. Awesomely heavy but with bags of rhythm & catchy riffs, the latter in particular is a fantastic sign off. Head-banging music that lifts the soul & makes you wonder how everyone in the world isn’t listening to this & loving it.
For I Am King are special & another indication that the metal genre has a bright future with bands like this coming through the ranks. If there is one negative I can pour on this album, Daemons, it’s that 10 tracks (9 considering Intermission) just isn’t enough. I’m very excited to see what these lot can do next, the future of metal is very bright with bands like this about.
Overall Track List:
1. Black Death
2. Breathe the Fire
3. Lost in Divinity
4. The Crone
10. We Must Obey
For I Am King - Daemons (Redfield Records)