Self-proclaimed “monolithic metallers” The King Is Blind are unleashing their first full-length next week (January 29) but because we think it’s that bloody good we’re streaming it for you right now.
Here you go, ten teutonic plate sized slabs of brutal metal from the depths of East Anglia telling the stories of Satan, God, Sin and The Fall Of Man. If that sounds up your street then check out vocalist Stephen John Tovey’s in-depth guide to Our Father below. There’s a lot to wrap your head around.
The Music: We knew we wanted to open the album with a malicious, feral beast, and Genesis… is exactly that – a malevolent statement of intent to launch the onslaught.
The Story: Refracting the infamous tale of Genesis, our interpretation begins with Satan creating man as a gift for his Father. God becomes enraptured with man, creating woman and a second son, Christ, to be his representative on Earth. In howling jealousy Satan’s envy generates Sin, and he seeks solace in her arms.
Additional Themes: Pride comes before a fall; jealousy; selfishness and lack of self-awareness.
FRAGILITY BECOMES WRATH
The Music: I love the progression of this song, and how the music corresponds to the mood of the lyrics. Opening in a rage-filled battle cry, before muscling into battle and then a more considered coda, as Satan reflects on defeat, all while maintaining a sinewy intensity.
The Story: War! Rage! Satan is roused by his horde of sycophants to wage the War Against Heaven in an attempt to overthrow God. Satan is winning the war, until the Archangel Michael blindsides him. Satan is banished to Hell.
Additional Themes: The irrationality of vanity and temper but also that we are all capable of transcending our perceived limits – the metamorphosis from the weak and powerless small man to summoning the strength to conquer is much closer than you think!
The Music: The very first The King Is Blind song, Mors… allowed us to know from the off we could examine different tempos and more atmospheric feelings and effectively tell stories with our music. Mors… was given a coat of varnish to bring it up level with its newer brethren and I’m delighted it warrants inclusion on merit, not sentimentality.
The Story: Cast down to (the newly created) hell-limbo, Satan reflects on his relationship with God. He and God both consider the events and the relationship breakdown.
Additional Themes: It’s funny how a song about the journey and failure of an old band, about the death of a dream, was actually the catalyst for a new dream taking shape… and that, lyrically, it slotted into the concept effortlessly. As if it was meant to be.
The Music: I fucking love this tune… A bit more ‘heavy metal’, anthemic, sharp and with a different sort of hook for us. It features my favourite vocal rhythms and patterns on the album.
The Story: Satan regroups, and reveals his plans, stirring himself and his horde to believe…
Additional Themes: Hauling yourself from the brink of devastation. Finding that inner fire to prove every one wrong and going out and doing just that. Or embarking on a malevolent plan of revenge, it all depends on your point of view.
The Music: Mourning… was always going to be the massive, horrible, sprawling, dark centre-piece of the album, but where it ended up in terms of music, dynamics and structure was very different to the original vision as creativity flowed and the song mutated. A definite favourite due to the story the music tells, but also because of the writing process, and Natalia Francesca’s improvised, horrific guest vocal.
The Story: The Fall Of Man. Satan subverts the line of man by impregnating Eve, thus assuring that the bloodline of mankind is incontrovertibly his.
Additional Themes: Identity and acceptance of who you are even if the mirror doesn’t show you what you want to see, allied to the concept of vengeance being repaid tenfold.
The Music: Relentless. Short. Sharp. Shock.
The Story: Adam reflects on The Fall Of Man, accepting his responsibility to lead man to a golden age.
Additional Themes: Affirmation. Put up, shut up, face your daemons, and rebuild your shattered world, with whatever tools you have available – your hands may be crippled, it won’t be ideal, but we all have the power of choice and focus and commitment. Use it.
…FOR ALL THE DAEMONS ARE HERE
The Music: An uptempo muscle song that powers through its first half before opening up to rage alongside an acerbic, and truly excellent, guest vocal by Christopher Naughton of Winterfylleth, assuming the role of our narrator (John Milton).
The Story: Satan returns to Hell, rejoicing in the success of his plan. Sin and Death are sent to Earth to run rampant. As Satan conducts his victory speech, God has the last laugh, turning all Satan’s daemons into snakes. At the denouement, Satan himself finds himself encased as a serpent.
Additional Themes: …Daemons unveils a central premise that is told throughout Our Father; that Earth, and human life, is Hell. It also questions how many of the issues and daemons we have are real, and how many are self-inflicted and self-manufactured.
The Music: A discordant, uneasy beast where deceit and betrayal drip from every jangling note and stabbed chord. Venin was genuinely uncomfortable and draining to record, both from the vocal intensity required, but also the toxic crawl of the first half of the song before it explodes into a powerful end.
The Story: Satan has recovered and, disguised as a man, convinces Christ to succumb to the Last Temptation, and fall into the arms of the one he loves, thus proving God’s proclamation that Christ would resist all and remain true, wrong. God’s wrath explodes and he condemns Christ to execution.
Additional Themes: Revenge. Served cold. And dripping in poison.
The Music: The first song written specifically for Our Father, Devoured has retained its original DNA and format. A long standing staple of the live set, musically this song is strong, and has big grooves and big fucking riffs.
The Story: Christ’s mother, Mary, unhinged and wild at God for crucifying her Son, turns to Satan and leads his cause, her fury leading her on a killing spree throughout heaven. Satan revels in the free will he has instilled in man as man’s armies throw their lot in with him.
Additional Themes: Rage, wrath, revenge. Also the central tenet of Our Father – “The failing comes not from the child, the failing comes from the Father”
The Music: A closing epic in the vein of a Call Of Ktulu or Alexander The Great; from mid-tempo crunch, Mesmeric Furnace succumbs to the cold embrace of reflection before resurrection from the flames… The second half of the song draws me right in, every time.
The Story: God wipes out Mary, Satan’s army and all but 10,000 of mankind. Satan’s sycophants betray him in return to being allowed back to heaven. Satan and God discuss their tale, before, bound in chains, Satan is cast into Gehenna’s maw. Millenia pass. Even without Satan and his other devils to encourage it, mankind begins to revert to lust, gluttony, pride. God’s grip on mankind is weakened, and somewhere in the ninth circle, the Beast stirs…
Additional Themes: Despite all our potential, despite all the progressive and great things we do, mankind is intrinsically flawed and irreparably drawn to the seven sins. Acts committed in the name of religion are one of the greatest causes of “sin”.