Call Me King is a metal band based just south of Austin. Since their first show in October of last year, the band has already played dozens of shows and venues. They have already received astoundingly positive feedback from listeners and accrued an ever-growing fan base. Call Me King wastes no time getting started in their latest release entitled … And The Snow Will Turn To Ash.
The album opens with “Kelsier Says Hello.” This opening track is driven by double-bass drumming and distorted, grueling guitar riffs. Escape-The-Fate-esque vocals fluctuate endlessly between emotive, pained singing and guttural, raw screeches from lead vocalist Gauthier. Interesting that I should make the comparison between the old lead vocalist of Escape The Fate, Ronnie Radke, and Call Me King’s vocals when Allen, Call Me King’s lead guitarist, cites Escape The Fate as their biggest influence. Nonetheless, I do not see Call Me King as “just another tribute band.” The comparison I made is more one of the general style and emotion present throughout Call Me King’s music. The songwriting and performance itself is slightly more defined and raw. That’s a good thing, of course.
“A Short Drop, A Sudden Stop” opens with chugging, slightly-muted electric guitar, staggered chords and Gauthier’s emotive vocals once again. Lead guitar swirls and reverberates endlessly over what seems to be the peak of this electrifying song. Yet, once again, the listener is taken off-guard when Gauthier’s voice breaks into guttural shrieks of raw fury, as the guitar descends the track into the lowest depths of angst and emotion. It is the sonic sound which comes from this combination of lead guitar arpeggios, strained singing and furious chords that creates such a brilliant track here.
‘You Don’t Vote For Kings’ combines dark, twisted piano chords with a relentless, rapid drum beat to really push Call Me King towards the depths of their dark, twisted, metallic capacity. The vocals are much more of the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is only so much variety that songs of this style can allow. Emotion cannot be compromised in the face of loud and clear vocals, but there are only so many ways one can mold and contort their voice when singing at such volumes. That being said, it is the melody of a song which captivates me. “You Don’t Vote For Kings” is the most infectiously-catchy track and does offer a small dose of something new in the form of beautiful female vocals towards the latter half of the track.
All in all, Call Me King may not experiment with too many different sounds, but they do what they do brilliantly. They are an independent band which exhibits as much talent as any of the mainstream or vastly popular metal bands of the last decade. I see good things for them if they maintain this level of quality in future releases.
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