A release embroiled in the dark depths of horror and similar realms, The Summoning is the new EP from British rockers King Of The Dead. The five track encounter is part of the revealing of “a story through a succession of songs, videos and updates from a mysterious masked individual, the Familiar,” who the band says is “the public face of the band – an individual that sits between worlds – the earthly realisation of secretive ancient forces.” It is also one rousingly enjoyable encounter from a band we feel sure we will be hearing and enjoying a lot more of ahead.
King Of The Dead blend a mix of alternative and punk rock in their sound, a mix also embracing a greater mix of classic and hard rock to its exploits in varying degrees. Its character as their tales and the visuals spun around them spring from horror film and comic book like drama and enterprise, it all coming together in a theatre of adventure and enterprise easy to immerse in.
A story of sacrifice, possession and the occult, The Summoning opens with Control and instantly shows that authority with a melodic strand of guitar tempting, the groove imperious within a swarm of riffs and imposing rhythms. Similarly the warm flourish of keys which align their lures provides swift persuasion into the brewing adventure of the song. Already that mix of punk and rock and an additional flourish of pop punk proved a magnet for ears and attention, the similarly alluring roar of the vocals escalating the infectious tempting on offer.
It is a great start to the EP which the following Destroy My Name compounds with its virulent catchiness and robust dynamics. Like a mix of The Offspring and 30 Seconds To Mars, the track stomps through ears inciting a matching bounce in reaction and appetite. Though we use those bands as a kind of reference to infer the band’s sound there is an additional familiarity which could not be defined but easily embraced as it added to the anthemic prowess of the track and indeed release.
Running Out Of Time lays a more controlled hand on its power but opens up a fresh weave in melodic and sonic enticement as guitars and bass unite in a tapestry of flavour and intimation punctuated by swinging beats whilst caught in a maze of twist and turns. It is a song which maybe did not immediately grip as its predecessors but flourished over listens as more of its imaginative design was revealed while Damned, the band’s latest single erupted from speakers in a melodically clamorous tempting which equally proved a potent call on ears. It too only sunk deeper under the skin by the play and confirmed the compelling invention and energy of King Of The Dead.
Final track, With Love, brings The Summoning to a fine close; its drama and bold dynamics immediately riveting with its subsequent more composed stroll relishing the melodic prowess of the band. All the darkness and menace of the release and the story it bears, as too that of The Familiar, floods the imagination as richly as the sounds carrying.
As its songs, The Summoning only flourished in ears and imagination by the listen as more of the theme and craft behind release was discovered; too much to discover in one or two listens but rich adventure over time making it one compelling experience; one which an accompanying 19 page comic book the band teamed up with artist Sam Mayle and writer Tom McCarthy to create adds to.
This is our fiercely enjoyable first meeting with King Of The Dead and we cannot wait for the next instalment in their dark quest.
The Summoning is out now.
Pete RingMaster 14/10/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review