KING KRAKEN - MCLXXX (2023) - full

KING KRAKEN are a band from Cardiff, Wales, which you would be really surprised by because they really have got the American Metal sound done to perfection, some kind of a mix between Black Label Society and the Metallica melodic side. You really can’t believe “MCLXXX” is King Kraken’s debut album it was so good, but the production work by Romesh Dodangoda (Inglorious / Motorhead) is first rate to highlight the band’s talent.
Which I have to say is if your a fan of melodic metal and hard rock with groove, you are going to so love this. A collection of songs with inspiration from a famous list of horror and sci-fi movies that had an early impact on the band’s vocalist and main wordsmith, Mark Donoghue.
Hard rock heaviness and groove, combined with a love of sci-fi and horror; ”MCLXXX” seems like an album tailor made for us.

The opening refrains of “Devil’s Night” tell you that you are in for a wild ride, a relentless drum and bass beat with monster riffs underscore the band’s power, Donoghue’s gravelly vocals are immense and only get better as the album progresses.
“Bastard Liar” has a faster feel, coming out of the traps like a freight train it hits right between the eyes, there are shades of Metallica riffs that make this track a banger and one of the best in here and as for Donoghue’s vocals; take it to another level.

“Green Terror” and “Veins” change things up a bit with a more groove-heavy vibe managing to keep the power and heaviness, “Green Terror” has crunching riffs with a thumping drum beat and a mega solo while “Veins” has a killer funky beat and is faster, combined with Donoghue spitting out the lyrics like nobody’s business this is guaranteed to get you moving, a cracking solo at the backend of the track is the icing on top.

“Haddonfield 78” comes in really heavy with chugging riffs, a banging drum beat and a rumbling bass line, Donoghue’s vocals are slower, and there’s another savage solo from lead guitarist Adam Healey giving the track that little extra spice.
“Man-Made Monster” steals the show for me; the intense interplay between the drums and guitars kicks the tempo big time while Donoghue runs the vocal range showcasing his obvious talent and a robust set of lungs, Healy’s solo is masterful considering all the chaos going on around him, track of the album.

“Walls Of Jericho” is another heavy groover that go up and down like a rollercoaster from the slow grinding opening to the uptempo midsection and backs down again at the end of the track all the while sandwiched in between some massive riffs and a couple of tasty solos, great vocals once again, a true headbanging track.
“Chaos Engine” is a heavy metal banger if ever there was, full throttle and in your face with punchy drums and chugging riffs that will melt your brain, Donoghue’s vocals are off the hook as he roars his way through the track, this pushes “Man-Made Monster” for track of the album.
“Castle Of Bone” brings proceedings to a close in much the same way as it started with a massive wall of sound, kicking rhythm and a round groove monster, there is not much more that needs saying, a beast of a track.

Not redefining heaviness or trying to rewrite the rulebook, King Kraken know where their strengths lie and don’t deviate from the punchy, bouncy groove that they execute so adeptly. Why would you veer away from a style that you absolutely make your own?
Clearly King Kraken are going to be one of the most exciting and talked about bands in the burgeoning UK metal scene and rightly so. For with ‘MCLXXX’ they have delivered one hell of a memorable and potent shots of heavy fist pumping metal / groovy hard rock.
Highly Recommended


01 – Devil’s Night
02 – Bastard Liar
03 – Green Terror
04 – Veins
05 – Haddonfield ’78
06 – Man Made Monster
07 – Walls Of Jericho
08 – Proctor’s Ledge
09 – Chaos Engine (Bonus Track)
10 – Castle Of Bone (Bonus Track)

Mark Donoghue – Vocals
Peter Rose – Rhythm guitar / Backing vocals
Adam Healey – Lead Guitar
Karl Meyer – Bass
Richard Lee Mears – Drums



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