Earthquaker Album Cover by King Hiss

Album Review: King Hiss

King Hiss—Earthquaker

King Hiss on Selective Memory

Link: Official Site

King Hiss has spent a career attracting the biggest names in the business to help craft rock artistry. Dave Collins who worked with bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, and Black Sabbath; The Machine who amplified Fall Out Boy, Lamb of God and Clutch’s sound; Ace Zec who worked with Diablo Blvd., Spoil Engine and Customs—the members of King Hiss made album after album of monster metal riffs with the hopes of climbing that pedestal to the top of the Belgian scene. For them it was predominantly successful. What they neglected was the strength and confidence in themselves. This is where Earthquaker comes in, enlisting Brent Vanneste (STAKE and Raveyards) to produce.

What King HIss has proven is that they can make an album that is just as explosive as anything else they have done in the past without the push of big names. Drifting off in 2015 to do “Acoustic Sessions” for Record Store Day, the group returns to form and Earthquaker is as much about the adrenaline as it is momentum.

They break down the walls with “Revolt!” It starts with a spark (the ripples of percussion patter like the calm before the storm) and take force to the next level. The song is a gratuitas explosion of energy that continues well into “Desertsurfer.” I want to pinpoint one member over the next for their contribution but in reality, it’s the group as a whole who make these songs this intense.

The unrelenting rawness of “Monolith” is beefy metal that crawled out of the grave of 1992 and haunted the chapel that howls with tints of death growl. And if that does not tickle the taint then “Black Wolf” dips into the vault of classic metal folklore while flexing some guitar-drenched muscles. Jan Coudron’s vocal diversity can go from the top of the mountain to the bowels of hell with flawless transition making it all feel seamless.

What allows King Hiss to flourish is going outside of the box and not limiting themselves. Their work in other projects allow them to return with a fresh and rejuvenated creativity. For them, Earthquakeris a refreshed release given birth conceptualized from the thick coat of human desperation. This is a band who has their sound firmly rooted to their influences while pushing forth with modernity. We may be inching closer to our doom, but King Hiss reminds us that we, as humans, will not go down without a fight. These are their fight songs, and they are a blast.

King Hiss—Revolt! [Official Video]

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