Review: King Giant – Dismal Hollow

 

In 2009, King Giant released Southern Darkness, a heavy, stoner-doom smothered album full of tales of whiskey, murder, guns and motorcycles. Live show after live show around the DC/MD/VA area saw the band picking up steam and the crowds growing larger and larger.

Fast-forward to 2012.

The quintet from Pimmit Hills, VA are back with their latest effort, Dismal Hollow. Rather than just picking up where they left off in 2009, KG has kept the core of its heavy sound and expanded on it, adding more complexity to their songs and exploring new areas, both vocally and musically.

Dismal Hollow opens with a sonic boom, the first single, Appomattox. A churning, powerful tale of the Civil War, (“If blood was money, the soil would be wealthy…”). The album continues with dark tales of murder, booze and the open road. Other standouts on the album are the groove-heavy Tale of Mathias, the story of a woman turning the tables on her abusive husband. The sludgy, chunky riff of 6 O’Clock Swill WILL be resonating in your head for hours, maybe even days after listening. The Fog takes us down deeper into the Dismal Hollow of Appalachia with an ode to moonshiners. The song rolls into your ears and pores just like a fog, then builds up to crescendo upon crescendo to a huge high-octane finish that stops on a dime.

Something worth noting is the length of the songs on Dismal Hollow. only 2 of the 8 songs are under the 5 minute mark, and rather than drone on, its gives life to the songs and allows them to spread their wings and tell the tale. The songwriting has continued in the KG tradition of musical storytelling rather than just a song for a song’s sake. King Giant have truly established themselves as modern-day metal bards, spinning southern yarns that paint a vivid picture of the story that they are telling, and using power and restraint equally to evoke the appropriate emotion to tell the tales.

This review would be incomplete without talking about the individual parts of the whole. The dual-guitars of Todd Ingram and David Kowalski perfectly compliment and contrast each other, zooming along in unison until breaking away for lead breaks and rhythm lines that work together like opposing gears of a Swiss watch.

Photo by Puck

The rhythm section of Floyd Walters III on bass and Brooks on drums give the low end the punch and girth to support the songs, and the production on the album highlights the low sound beautifully. Finally, Dave Hammerly’s vocals are the angry snarl he is known for, but reaching new powerful heights unheard before, being unleashed at just the right moments as if stomping on the gas pedal.

King Giant have reached a new level and really knocked one out of the park with Dismal Hollow. Do yourself a favor and get this one, especially on vinyl (you can order the album here). These songs were meant to be heard live. If they hit your town (or anywhere remotely close), do not miss them – you will regret it. It all begins with the album release show at Jaxx in Springfield, VA this Saturday, 1/21.

Here is the video for the first single from Dismal Hollow, Appomattox.

Band Site: www.kinggiant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kinggiantband

Merch: http://www.kinggiant.bigcartel.com/

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