Hot off the Press

Fit For A King | Creation / Destruction

by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist —

Fit For A KingAnyone who enjoys crushingly heavy metal-core with clean-cut choruses and high production values will go absolutely paroxysmal with happiness when they hear this major label debut from Fit For A King (FFAK). Like fellow label mates Demon Hunter, these Texans know how to combine sledgehammer ferocity with commercial appeal; were it not for Demon Hunter’s existence, FFAK would arguably be the best band on the Solid State Records roster. Given how good Creation/Destruction is, perhaps FFAK have their eyes on toppling the kings from their throne…

Such a coup is not as cockamamie as it may initially sound. While Demon Hunter is more melodic, FFAK are actually a little heavier, dabbling with some death metal influence and eschewing ultra-polished production in favor of a darker tone. Not dark in a murky, muddy kind of way, mind you; it’s just that this album doesn’t slather on the gloss like a starving Rottweiler drooling all over a raw porterhouse. The guitars are ingrained with grit and groove while chugging out some serious riffs that are heavy enough to shatter gravestones. Creation/Destruction should come with a complimentary neck brace, because getting headbanger’s whiplash from the bone-jarring breakdowns while cranking this puppy is pretty much guaranteed.

Aside from a couple of fillers, the songs are consistently strong, with enough adjustment to the riffs and rhythms to avoid sounding monotonous. “Warpath” is a scourging metal monster that punishes the listener in all the right ways like a viciously decadent dominatrix, yet soothes the sweet wounds with a clean chorus you can sing along to. “Broken Fame” softly seduces you for a few seconds with some harmonized vocals, then slams the throttle down, grabs you by the throat, and shakes the stuffing out of you on its way to becoming one of the fastest and most furious tracks on tap. The album oddball is “Skin & Bones,” a fairly quiet song (until the last third) that is sung completely clean. It’s sort of a ballad, it’s sort of different … and it’s sort of awesome. Bringing down the curtain is “Destruction,” a savage onslaught of heaviness that throws the whole kit and caboodle into the mix and then tosses in the whole enchilada too. Soul-wrenching screams, gruff growls, gut-punch drums, raging riffs, angry attitude…yeah, it’s all here. Did you want the kitchen sink with that as well?

This is the kind of metal-core that’s got what it takes to make a massive dent in the market. This band may hail from Texas but not even the “show me” state is big enough to contain the explosion of popularity these guys can expect. FFAK are one of the best bands emerging onto the metal-core scene right now. In fact, they are so good that you could even say they are… wait for it … fit for a king.

Genre: Metal-Core

Ryan Kirby (vocals)
Justin Hamra (guitar)
Bobby Lynge (guitar)
Jared Easterling (drums, vocals)
Aaron Kadura (bass, vocals)

Track Listing
1. Creation
2. Warpath
3. Hollow King (Sound of the End)
4. Broken Fame
5. Bitter End
6. Skin & Bones
7. The Resistance
8. Identity
9. The Lioness
10. Eyes to See
11. Destruction


Label: Solid State Records

Hardrock Haven rating: 8/10