With a few releases under their belt, Atlanta, Georgia’s Death of Kings set out to record a single that would provide a thrashing good time to all. While it can sometimes be hard to make an impact with only a couple of tracks, “Knifehammer” shows the band selecting their best material to get your neck raging. The single kicks off with the title track, and it is by far the stronger of the two songs. The opening riff immediately gives off a ton of aggression that is only amplified when the vocals come in. Death of Kings’ singer leans more towards death/thrash, but is still pretty understandable. Fans of more brutal thrash will be pleasantly surprised once they hear his voice. Throughout this opening track, the first riff returns again in the chorus and shows the band effectively utilizing gang vocals (though those shouts show up non-stop during the first song). Where this song gets even more interesting is when it breaks for a guitar solo. It’s fast and frenetic like you would expect, but it is contrasted by a dueling bass solo. The two instruments trade back and forth a few times, but the bass undoubtedly steals the show as the bassist is playing more like a guitar player during his solo. After this flurry of technical display, the band quickly returns to their aggressive brand of thrash for the remainder of the song.
“Beneath The Obsidian”, the second track, is less impressive, but only because “Knifehammer” is so great. This song is not quite as fast, and shows a bit of a punkish flair in the way that some of the guitar rhythms are constructed. Overall, however, it is still likely to be quite enjoyable to anyone who found themselves headbanging during “Knifehammer”. In terms of comparisons, Death of Kings is a breath of fresh air in thrash. They don’t reinvent the wheel, but unlike seemingly every other thrash band out there, there isn’t a single identifiable band that they are simply copying. Sure, there are elements of Motorhead, Slayer, and Exodus, but Death of Kings delivers considerably more. Don’t wait for these guys to do a full-length, check out “Knifehammer” immediately!
Be sure to check out and like Death of Kings on Facebook!
4.2/5 or 84%.
Written by Scott