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King Giant: Southern Darkness

Even before I had opened the booklet that accompanies Southern Darkness, the debut CD from King Giant, I knew that this was a band that would have heavy, if expertly groomed facial hair, the odd cowboy hat and arms that suggest many a dumbbell has been sweated over. Yes, this is the heavy riffed, sludgy bass driven thump that can only be called Southern Metal.

Inspired by the likes of Sabbath, Kyuss and Pantera and not dissimilar to Clutch or Down, King Giant certainly know how to fire out some massive slabs of uncompromising riffage. Big, heavy and lumbering, Southern Darkness is an album that has the sole intention of beating you into submission with its constant barrage of guitars and raspy, threatening vocals. That in itself is not an issue, but the fact that over the eleven tracks there is little to really separate this band from the countless others treading this well worn path may be. If you are a devotee of Southern Metal, there is undoubtedly enough passion and fire to carry the attack of "Potter's Field" or "Hollow" and have you splitting open another bottle of beer to deep grind of "Shindig". However for the rest of us there may too often be a temptation to wonder if we haven't heard it all before. There are a couple of occasions where the boundaries are stretched slightly, with the banjo that changes the focus of "13 To" and the more intricate rhythm of "Mississippi River" being more than welcome additions to a brew that can taste ever so slightly familiar in places.

The true strength of King Giant is the guitar pairing of Todd Ingram and David Kowalski who are more than capable of building juggernaut like riffs that are ably beefed up by bassist Floyd Lee III and drummer Brooks who on the whole keep things simple in the face of the mighty six string onslaught. Dave Hammerly who reminds of Mark Hennessey (but without the melody that made the Paw singer a truly excellent angry howler) does possess the bourbon soaked drawl that this style of music thrives on, but without quite having the range to really elevate the more straight ahead tracks into something truly memorable.

This may not be the most innovative debut album you've ever heard, however that said, there is enough on Southern Darkness to suggest that King Giant are worth keeping an eye on, as while they may lack originality, they do have the ability to kick up a mighty storm when the mood takes them.

Track Listing
1. Solace
2. Burning Regrets
3. 13 To 1
4. Potter's Field
5. Mississippi River
6. Lady Whiskey
7. Machine Gun Mantra
8. Hollow
9. Shindig
10. Desert Run
11. Needle And The Spoon

Added: October 25th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: King Giant MySpace
Hits: 1639
Language: english

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