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King 810 - O2 Academy Islington, London - September 26, 2014 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Every once in a blue moon, the music world stumbles across a band that appears unique and brimming with potential. The undying cult of Slipknot is a prime example, but since the masked maniacs' rise to power a staggering 15 years ago, the metal hype machine has been unusually subdued. Until King 810 landed, that is.

Tonight, the Academy is rammed with bloodthirsty journalists, dyed-in-the-wool fanatics and curious bystanders for the band’s debut London show. It’s safe to say their arrival is causing a bit of a stir.

But first, following Astroid Boys' bizarre opening slot - imagine movie auditions for the role of Fred Durst - Hang The Bastard do a sterling job of lubing up the ears and getting bodies moving.

Falling somewhere between Down, Orange Goblin and a black metal vocalist drowning in a bucket of bleach, Hang The Bastard load up all the riffs and fire them at the dancefloor with all the subtlety of a rhino in ballet pumps.

Tunes from their latest record, 'Sex In The Seventh Circle', are monolithic and screeched with absolute animosity by vocalist Tomas Hubbard. If you haven't seen this band yet, re-evaluate your core values, cancel all ensuing plans and get yourself a ticket to their November tour with Entombed A.D.

As bloody brilliant as Hang The Bastard are, though, tonight is all about King 810. Opening with a completely savage rendition of Killem All, the doubt around the place seems to immediately dissipate. The band rip into every naysayer, tearing out hearts seemingly just for laughs. Exhuming a raw, unhinged aura matching the atmosphere of 'Memoirs Of A Murderer', King 810 prove that their mix of Korn riffs, punishing vocals and an overall sense of despair can be translated to the live environment.

Much of this is thanks to leader David Gunn, who screams into the microphone with unbridled conviction. He is the tangible link between the brutal pit anthem Best Nite Of My Life and the haunting acoustic rumble of Take It. He doesn't revel in the limelight nor does he stray from it: he's a vessel for King 810's poisonous poems.

State Of Nature is an epic work, while the spoken word creepiness of Anatomy 1:2 sets the Michigan wrecking crew above the rest. Alas, such curveballs are the only hiccups in a largely flawless outing tonight. Phatic chatter and some horribly out-of-time clapping is the crowd’s response to the latter, suggesting that a portion of the audience hasn’t been conquered. This, followed by some sort of glittery dildo whirling around on stage toward the end of the set detracts from the overall impact – is this a gritty, urban fable or a wannabe, full-on stage production?

This is the work of a band still in a stage of relative infancy and by the time Gunn emerges, covered in dirt and eyes wild with rage, for Fat Around The Heart, he's won. 'Memoirs Of A Murderer' is one of the most intriguing releases of the year and there happens to be a live show to back it up. King 810 have arrived.





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