In the aftermath of Bloodstock Open Air in 2016, there was one band on the lips of punters more than any other. Sure, TWISTED SISTER had given us their final ever UK show and GOJIRA had shown why they were going to return as headliners two years later, but on the Sophie Lancaster stage, nestled between THIS IS TURIN and VODUN were a five-piece that simply exploded onto the scene in devastating fashion: THE KING IS BLIND. A band that, at the time, had formed only three years prior, their set was one of the highlights of the festival and their musical output succeeded in bridging the gaps of death, groove, grind and thrash without so much as a sweat. Small wonder, therefore, that sophomore album We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer is hotly anticipated from all corners of the metal world. On Friday, that anticipation comes to fruition.
The saying ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ is surprisingly relevant in music; bands that try to combine a multitude of genres within one album are regularly found wanting in certain areas; with this in mind, doing the same thing to individual songs would be perceived as borderline madness. THE KING IS BLIND, however, are very much an exception to the rule. It’s one thing to be shifting tracks between gears, but it’s entirely another to do it as well as they have on We Are the Parasite, We Are The Cancer. Opening track Patriarch works its way seamlessly from a jarring, scratchy opening through a BLACK SABBATH-esque guitar riff and into an all out attack of extreme metal with frontman Steve Tovey displaying some incredibly effective vocals that sound almost like death metal whispers, if such a thing existed before now.
Likewise, Like Gods Repeated goes from distant, haunting strings and clean guitar to a huge riff the size of most skyscrapers, segueing into a sublime ‘choir of voices’ that could have come straight from a GHOST album and finishing with a hefty dose of groove; the opera-style ending is a little odd but that’s nitpicking in the grand scheme of thngs. The Sky Is a Mirror channels the brilliance of MACHINE HEAD with a slower-paced number that looks set to be a classic already whilst Idolatry of Self boasts an impressive solo by guitarist Paul Alan Ryan-Reader. There’s also the guest appearance by MEMORIAM‘s frontman Karl Willetts on Mantra XIII as he and Tovey trade lines expertly and give an already great thrash song extra teeth and poise; musically, therefore, absolutely on point
But We are the Parasite, We Are The Cancer is far more than that; it’s also a concept album that picks up right where debut release Our Father left off, talking of Satan’s attempts to overthrow God once and for all by summoning the Seven Princes of Hell to Earth in order to reinforce the prevalence of the Seven Deadly Sins, with each song (save for the opener and closer) taking the form of said sins, manifested into plagues. In turn, this also reflects the state of the world today where, as Tovey says, ‘we are faced with a divided and divisive society, led by self-interested celebrity politicians’.
There is so much going on with this record, delivering on a plethora of levels and constantly throwing up little nuances and moments for people to enjoy from now until the next album from THE KING IS BLIND. There is so much to gain from this album, more than can truly be explained in a written review and even then never doing it justice. Just go out and buy a copy already or stream it straight into your ears, this is absolutely scintillating stuff.
We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer is set for release on October 6th via Calva Records.
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