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Texas metalcore act Fit For A King have sacrificed their small-town, dive-bar, heavy sound for the kind of refined and brutal metalcore deserving of an arena on their powerful and devastating new record The Path.
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While past records like Deathgrip saw Fit For A King playing raw, classic metalcore akin to that of a young band playing in a small-town basement somewhere, in recent years they’ve matured that sound with solid choruses and more of a melodic/heavy balance. The Path is the pinnacle of this new evolution for the band; and proof that this new sound is what they needed all along.
The Face of Hate and Breaking the Mirror have a more traditional metal approach to them, with heavy riffs, deep drum fills and screaming guitar solos worthy of cheering crowds and pyrotechnics. It’s clear from the start of The Path that this record is full of passionate and aggressive tracks, and the album only keeps delivering with hit after hit. Though they’ve found a good balance between heavy and melodic on this record, that doesn’t stop the heavier tracks on the album from hitting hard. God of Fire (featuring guest vocals from Crystal Lake’s Ryo Kinoshita) knocks listeners back with a crushing opening, through deep synthesisers and frontman Ryan Kirby screaming out for listeners to “Bow down to the god of fire”. The addition of synths on God of Fire does a great job of diversifying the record while still keeping to a ferocious intensity.
There’s no shortage of heavy anthems for core fans to scream along to on this album, with one of the heaviest tracks, Annihilation, bound to have listeners thrashing in their seats screaming along to Kirby’s thunderous rallying cry “Rebuild / Redemption / Welcome Annihilation”.
The Texas act screaming out to be the next festival-headlining modern metalcore band
Fit For A King are making some serious strides towards becoming metalcore heavyweights on this album. Title track The Path feels like the kind of song that wouldn’t be surprising coming from titans of the scene like Parkway Drive, but with Fit For A King’s own spin on it, with the Texas act are screaming out to be the next festival-headlining modern metalcore band. Locked (In My Head) brings in some clean vocals to the mix while still complimenting the track’s heavy instrumentals, with Prophet similarly offering a slightly softer approach than previous tracks sandwiched between some hard-hitting verses. The brutal instrumentals across The Path are unrelenting, never giving listeners a chance to fall out of this engaging, head-banging record. The album doesn’t feel long at all from start to finish but bouncing between each crushing track is a good enough journey that you might find yourself just hitting repeat and going through it all again.
Another huge step up in this record for Fit For A King, like their last album Dark Skies, is the great mixing across the album. Despite the almost wall-to-wall heaviness of The Path, each instrument sounds crisp and clear and well placed across each track, rather than the undefined wall of noise you might get from a less experienced band. At the tale end of the album, Louder Voice brings it down a notch again with a nostalgic 2000’s era metalcore voice sample and a slow, sombre piano moment, but the band don’t let it end there. They pick it back up again one last time with the slightly djent and heavy-as-fuck closing track Vendetta, capping off this well-constructed and devastating heavy album on an absolute high.
A distinguished metalcore act more than ten years into their career but only just getting started, Fit for A King have delivered a solid 10-track metalcore record without a weak spot on The Path. An unrelentingly record heavy enough to shake your bones, they’ve taken a big a step forward on The Path.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Annihilation, The Path, Locked (In My Head)
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Parkway Drive, Architects, Beartooth