Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


For I Am King
Daemons




Company: Redfield Records
Release: 2016
Genre: Metalcore, death
Reviewer: Greg Watson

  • Hands down the best debut metalcore release I've heard



  • I've averred before there's something in the Dutch water that causes that country to crank out bands that are criminally underrated, tight-knit and heavy as hell. That trend has been ratcheted up to 11 with the band For I Am King. I previously reviewed a 2 song EP by FIAK earlier and expressed my anticipation for a full-length album from the band. So, to the point of my ramblings, "Daemons" is one of the most insanely heavy, seriously wicked debut albums I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. From beginning to end, my mouth was agape at the tightness of the band's sound, the catchiness and melodic qualities of the riffs and guitars, the bombardment of the bass and drums and the killer, killer vocals.

    Opening track "Black Death" starts off with this incredibly beautiful piano intro before eradicating the beauty with a ferocious growl, some seriously wicked drumming and a very nifty guitar riff. The main riff of the song has some serious melody to it and plenty of chugginess to power several locomotive engines. Guitarists Wouter and Jurgen have this wonderful dynamic of heaviness and melody going back and forth between them throughout the song that provides some seriously entertaining moments. The ferocity of the song is added to by stellar death growls and grunts from lead singer Alma, blast beat heaven by drummer Jaap and some really thunderous bass courtesy of Jasper. Midway through the song this really simple little bridge just calms things down before returning things to the heaviness and melody that is featured prominently throughout "Daemons". "Breathe the Fire" is up next and has a bit of a noodly, melodic intro reminiscent of Arch Enemy a little. The speedy riffing and fretwork on this track really reminds me of the Amott Brothers in their heyday with a more modern twist thrown in. This track also features a head banging breakdown that will snap the stoutest of necks. The groove on this track is off the charts and is incredibly infectious. "Lost in Divinity" allows drummer Jaap to showcase some of his wicked footwork with his counterpart on bass providing some really solid work. Throw in some really great guitar work that has this great underlying melody throughout the track and you have a well crafted piece of music. Then there's Alma's vocals--ferocious, attention grabbing and so guttural, the vocals are the ultimate compliment to this track. "The Crone" has the greatest opening riff of any song on the album, channeling Iron Maiden's melody and Amon Amarth's heaviness. You can easily hear both bands in that riff and it's clear that these musicians are well versed with their respective instruments as evidenced by the sonic symphony that they create on this track.

    "Tantalus" is just a bruiser of a track whose mission is to obliterate anything that stands in its way. The riffs push around people like a out of control bulldozer, the rhythm section beats on you like a UFC fighter going for that signature knockout and the vocals are a vicious uppercut straight from the hands of Ali in his prime. This song is one of my favorites on the album for its dynamism and superb quality. One of the most well-constructed tracks on "Daemons". "Interlude" is a fun little break from the heaviness and is just a way to collect and prepare for the conclusion of the album. "Hades" has the catchiest chorus on the album and has more melodic riffing going on underneath some really chunky rhythms. This also has a hell of a face-melting solo at the 2:47 mark that had me breaking out my air guitar, much to the amusement of the other drivers around me. "Des-Troy" is a straight forward crusher and lives up to the namesake, aiming to take out any opposition. It also is the song that gave me chills when Alma's vocals came on and continued. The growls and bellows that emanated from my speakers were some of the best I've heard in a long time. "Faust" is the longest track on the album, clocking in at 5:36 and starts out with this black metal influenced riff that is layered with some bombastic drumming and a meandering bass line before changing to a doomy, sludgy riff with some great crash cymbals (Man, do I love crash cymbals). Alma then comes in and lays down some vocals that just gives me chills with the way she bellows and growls. "We Must Obey" rounds the album out in heavy fashion with some of the more melodic guitar work taking place.

    The production on the album is really solid, though I felt a couple times that the bass got lost a little bit underneath the guitars and drums. But honestly, this one is hands down the best debut metalcore release I've heard. While some people might say that it sounds really simple and that it might be similar to this or that band, for me the quality of the songs, the music and the overall album as a whole is what sets this debut apart from so many others. I've never been as impressed with a debut to the extent that "Daemons" impressed me. I seriously suggest that readers go out and get this album. This has immediately leapt up to the top of my list for "Album of the Year". It's been playing non-stop in my rotation and has no plans on leaving there any time soon. This band is on their way to great things, I feel it, and it's up to us to help make sure that they achieve that. So, do your part and go out and buy their album. The band will thank you and you will thank yourself for being smart enough to buy an album that is sure to garner some serious attention.



    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FOR I AM KING
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    DaemonsFor I Am King
    2016
    Greg Watson6/25/2016
    We All Have DemonsFor I Am King
    2016
    Greg Watson4/4/2016


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: FOR I AM KING
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    RevengeanceFor I Am King
    2014
    Eric Compton7/5/2014


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: FOR I AM KING
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE METALCORE/HARDCORE STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Night Demon
    Darkness Remains
    Wicked Sensation
    Crystallized
    Destrophy
    Cry Havoc
    Insomnium
    Across The Dark
    Crystal Viper
    Legends

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Plague Throat
    The Human Paradox
    Clark Ashton Smith
    The Muse of Hyperborea
    Backdawn
    I Shall Burn Your Empire
    Borknagar
    Winter Thrice
    Lacuna Coil
    Delirium

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    A Sound of Thunder
    Who Do You Think We Are?
    ASG
    Win Us Over
    Unleash the Archers
    Time Stands Still
    Monster Truck
    Sittin' Heavy
    Madame Torment
    Lost Girl in the City

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Deathspell Omega
    Veritas Diaboli…
    Akercocke
    Antichrist
    Ihsahn
    Angl
    Aetherius Obscuritas
    Viziok
    Frosthardr
    Varg