The best way for a band to gain attention is to tour. It increases visibility, allows the artists to connect with their fans and widen their fanbase based upon who they tour with. Even if some fans are unable to see the artist tour, they hear about them through social media channels when they see things about their favorite artists. The King is Blind owe a bit of their recent exposure to their tour with Akercocke this fall. Now they’ve been around a lot long than the tour and have a pretty dedicated fanbase already but when they went on tour with Akercocke their exposure when crazy. I had never heard of them until Akercocke announced their tour with them and even though there was no way I was going to be able to see those shows because it was a UK and Ireland tour and I’m sort of trapped across the pond I became a fan of theirs. Their 2016 album “Our Father” gives you every answer as to why Akercocke chose them to tour with. In short, these guys are amazing. Their sound is similar enough to Akercocke’s own blend of black and death metal cacophony but different enough to act as a foil to them on stage.
Our Father’s message is pretty similar to another album that I recently reviewed, Axial Symmetry’s United Corruption, but it chooses to focus on the person rather than the machine. What do I mean by that? Well United Corruption forced the listener to take a hard look at the political system of government that seems to exists worldwide. Our Father’s message deals with the aftermath of that hard look. It deals with the angry dissolution we feel when staring into the emptiness. We gazed into the Abyss thinking we’d see something, even the Abyss looking back at us but in this case it was nothing. We shouted angry to see what was behind the curtain only to find that there’s nothing there. It’s not even a puppet show. It’s nothing. Our Father brazenly tackles the themes of existential despair, frustration, apathy, and all those other little nuanced emotions that we don’t quite have words to express yet. The music speaks where vocals and words seem to fail. The King is Blind play a blend of death and doom metal in the same progressive manner that Akercocke plays their music. Once you listen to them it’s easy to understand how the two bands connected. The death metal side in Our Father deals with the anger, the boiling shout at the sky sort of anger that we know no one hears because it’s just sound. The doom metal side shows the despair, the heavy sighs and clenched fists.
The two sides of sound really play into the message The King is Blind is sending to its listeners. I think it’s wonderful that music, especially metal nowadays, is not afraid to play to the emotions of the musicians. It’s important that artists use their creativity and their art to give voice and meaning to something so many of us can’t fully express. We might be angry but what is the anger at or what is directed to? Is it anger or frustration or full blown hatred or any little degree in between. Music helps us identify with it. The King is Blind and their album Our Father were a perfect example of that as I listened to them this week.
Metal is never, at least it shouldn’t be, an escape from reality. Sure we need breaks from the world we live in every now and then (and that’s why we have power metal right?). But just as important as it is to get away, it’s important to face the issues and the emotional fallout head on.
The music of Our Father is pretty damn catchy. The riffs are heavy and fast, but even though they blaze by they are intricate and detailed. It doesn’t take a dedicated listener to find these intricacies either. The melodies are on full display. The musical talent behind the message is great and that’s important. If you don’t have the talent your message is lost in the chaos of all the shit bands begging for attention.
Talent is what sets apart the important from the drivel. The King is Blind definitely fall into the former category. Without realizing it, the first time I listened to Our Father I listened to it on a loop for nearly three hours. If that doesn’t say something about how hypnotic and beautiful the music is I don’t know what is. It’s wasn’t like I was just not paying attention to the music (believe me sometimes I think I pay too much attention to the music) but that the music is so complex that even though I heard it all the way through at least three times I heard something new and different each time. It was brilliant.
Right now the world needs bands like The King is Blind and albums like Our Father. We are having trouble understanding what the flying fuck is going on around us and understanding what the hell we are supposed to think about it. Our Father doesn’t tell us what to think and feel but it does tell us how and for that reason I highly recommend them. I don’t know what they have in store for us now after their amazing tour has ended but I wait with bated breath.
Listen and support!