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King 810: Le Grand Vie or a Review of La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God

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First off, I’d like to say Midwest Monsters was awesome. Me and a few friends dug into that a few years ago, discovering it by the ol’ word of mouth way. When Memoirs of a Murderer came out, we were super stoked. I’ll be honest, though: Memories had its moments, but seemed like they tried to cram a bunch of sounds they were into all in one record. It didn’t really flow, and some moments were outta gas. Even so, the band was still pretty badass.

Now let’s move on to this new guy here. La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God.

Pretty out there name for a metal record. Except for one thing. This ain’t a metal record, son. It’s a super heavy record with elements of industrial, metal, jazz, blues, folk and rap. Not rap like a damn nu-metal album — La Petite Mort plays out almost like a hip-hopera. And it works. It builds with some real heavy guitar driven songs like “Alpha & Omega” and “Give My People Back.” On songs like “Black Swan,” a more toned down form of angry story telling arrives. Sounds like I’m glad I didn’t grow up in this kid’s shoes in Flint, Michigan. Some rough shit, bro.

They even have some throwback piano samples and use of “ladies and gentlemen” from their last two records… which is kinda what a lot of old rap albums used to do. But frontman David Gunn don’t really rap. He’s a storyteller and he’s a poet, man. He continues the painful descriptions of the band’s home environment and the struggle to be accepted before coming to the realization that, even after they scored a record deal and toured the world with Korn and Slipknot, the people at home suck and haven’t changed.

Gunn paints a dark picture here with a delivery that ranges from what sounds like Eminem screaming for Slipknot to a more mellow, almost Tom Waits-esque persona. Strange? Yeah, man. Very. But I dig it. The role of guitarist Andrew Beal ranges from atmosphere and sound-fx laden guitar contributions to some sick-ass, bluesy leads on the album closer. Not just a bunch of drop A nu riffage. The kid’s got talent. Would love to hear more of what he can do.  The rest of the band is tight as fuck.

This is easily one of the most diverse heavy music releases in recent years. An album I would expect to inspire more of a live performance art experience than a mosh pit… hell, maybe it will inspire both? Clearly, King 810 are proud to stand on their own, and don’t give a flying fuck what anyone else is doing. Band is cool and doing some seriously different shit here, boys. Go home and listen before you talk shit.

King 810’s La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God comes out September 16 on Roadrunner. You can check out the track “Alpha & Omega” here and pre-order the album here.

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