Kingdom Of Sorrow - Self Titled
Somewhere along the line Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) crossed paths with metal titan Kirk Windstein (Crowbar, Down). No doubt stricken with the glory of Kirk’s metal fortitude, Jamey pronounced himself a disciple and the path for a collaboration was forged. The product of this bowel pummeling partnership is a self described “airplane filled with lead crashing into a barge filled with tar”.
Myself, I would describe the result as more of a colossal downpour of molten ore upon one unsuspecting mortal. For as phenomenal as Kirk is at creating behemoth beckoning riffs, he’s also kind enough to let Jasta have some creative input. This is the one failing of the album, the undeniable element that simply makes me pine for a new Crowbar CD. Jasta’s “Destroy Everything” hardcore roots have always been a little less than innovative. So, when the album goes from three epic sludge anthems into an obvious Jasta creation “Lead Into Demise”, you’re motivated to kick someone’s ass. Only it’s Jasta’s ass that you want to pound into a fine paste for fucking up the FANTASTIC flow that Kirk has been missing, frankly, since Sonic Excess..
I will give this to Jasta, his vocals in this project are the best he’s offered yet. My assumption would be that Kirk’s gravely growl might have had some impression, but that may be giving credit where it isn’t deserved. Regardless of the reason, Jasta’s vocals (most of the time) work really well partnered with Kirk’s. There’s a noticeable difference between the two, but they compliment each other giving the instrumentation a balanced voice between the warrior tormented and his decision to fight back. It really is a great concept and, when it works, is extraordinary (see “Piece It All Back Together” and “Screaming Into the Sky”). Unfortunately, that only happens about half the time. “Begging for the Truth”, “Lead the Ghosts Astray”, and the aforementioned “Lead Into Demise” are easily skippable and weigh the album down for those of us who’ve never found Hatebreed to be more than repetitious fight music for (enter action movie title here).
Give Kingdom of Sorrow a listen if you’re a fan of either Crowbar or Hatebreed. You’ll find some gems on this album. If you’re a fan of both, this’ll be a strong candidate for album of the year.
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