Published Jan 23, 2019In 2014, King 810's Memoirs of a Murderer had so much promise. Though it earned the band some criticism (most saying that the lean, mean nu metal sound was redundant), it gave off a chill that was downright unsettling. The band's hometown of Flint hung like a black plague over the proceedings, while "Fat Around the Heart" and "War Outside" pummelled listeners with riffs harkening back to the early days of Slipknot. While the hip-hop influence was there, King 810 had savage metal in their hearts.
How different things are now. The band's last album was a grim slog, full of Memoirs' disturbing imagery without the cathartic metal kick. On Suicide King, the band sound more like Denzel Curry than their original selves. Artistic development should never be a bad thing, especially when it leans towards the future, but to move from "Murder, Murder, Murder" to a songs like "Bang Guns" and ".45" is a hard sell.
Perhaps King 810 were always destined to be this way. Memoirs arrived in a perfect storm, with the nu metal revival exploding and Flint's desperate situation first being shown to the world. Frontman David Gunn (now the band's sole member, according to some reports) still has a voice that could go toe-to-toe with Satan's, but his lyrics here weigh him down. He also keeps trying to go full lounge singer on us with "Black Rifle" and "Wade In the Water," which come off as schmaltzy instead of whatever Gunn is going for.
Flint, Michigan may be a hard place. Between the water crisis, unprecedented crime levels and an economy in total freefall, it deserves to be documented in a way that only music truly can. King 810 seemed to be the band that would do it. Now, it's hard to say. (Roadrunner)