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King Hell - "King Hell!" (CD/EP)

King Hell - "King Hell!" CD/EP cover image

"King Hell!" track listing:

1. What The Fuck
2. The Living Dead
3. King Hell
4. Shotgun
5. Assmaster

Reviewed by on June 26, 2009

"Unfortunately, this isn't a live DVD of a King Hell show, this is a CD, and I don't get to see any of the dancing girls with devil horns or see the guys running around acting goofy. And, when taken on its own, the music just doesn't measure up."

The title of the first track of King Hell's self-titled disc says it all for me: "What The Fuck?" More specifically, I guess, I'm asking "What the fuck were they thinking when they wrote and recorded this?"

To be fair, from the pictures that were provided with this disc (in a nifty "Top Secret" folder), it looks like King Hell's live shows would probably be a blast. After all, singer Doc Thompson's outfitted in a pinstripe suit, while fellow vocalist Samwell's dressed in what looks to be a superhero suit. The guitarist credited alternately as "Motherfucker" and "MoFo," is outfitted in the typical headbanger gear, including an outrageously spiked gauntlet, while bassist Zigabot wears a feather boa, and Shille-Lee, the drummer, well ... he actually looks the most "normal" of the bunch.

Unfortunately, this isn't a live DVD of a King Hell show, this is a CD, and I don't get to see any of the dancing girls with devil horns or see the guys running around acting goofy. And, when taken on its own, the music just doesn't measure up.

The band describes its sound as "rhythm & bruise" heavy metal. What that translates to on this disc is five mid-tempo funk-metal songs, all played at around the same speed and — if I'm being honest — sounding almost completely the same. Initially, it's kind of a novelty to hear Doc Thompson's crooning vocals over distorted guitars, but at about a minute into "What The Fuck," that feeling goes away.

Instrumentally, there are no glaring flaws, but nothing all that inspired either. The closest thing to greatness is the intro to "Shotgun," which experiments with thrash stylings, along with the funk-metal groove.

I get that the guys are trying to be funny with the lyrics, and there is a funny moment at the beginning of "King Hell," but mostly, it's pretty juvenile stuff here — not even on par with subpar AC/DC. Like I said, if I'd seen King Hell live, I'd probably be impressed with the show — and maybe more impressed with the music than I am. As it is, based on the music alone, I'm not even lukewarm toward King Hell.

Highs: "Shotgun" varies up the band's funk-metal sound by adding some thrash elements.

Lows: The songs sound the same, and the attempts at humor fall flat.

Bottom line: The schtick wears thin quick on King Hell's debut disc.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)