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fit-for-a-king-deathgripFit For A King has provided metalcore fans crushing breakdowns for about half a decade.  And this trend continues with the release of their fourth studio album  Deathgrip.  But it’s a trend that needs some experimentation as soon as possible.

Deathgrip opens with The End’s Beginning and while it’s not bad by itself, it feels like it was severed from Pissed Off.  It’s a 50-second intro and breakdown that doesn’t add much of anything as a standalone song.  For all intents and purposes, it should have stuck with Pissed Off, which is a much better song that showcases the best of Fit For A King.  It has all the heavy instruments and breakdowns you want along with fantastic screams from Ryan Kirby.  It’s definitely the right song to open with on an album.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much else going for the first half of Deathgrip besides Cold Room. Every other song is almost painfully generic.  Dead Memories is just OK and Disease, Shadows & Echoes and More Than Nameless are completely forgettable.  These songs have everything an everyday metalcore band has to give, but with Fit For A King’s brutal sound. It’s more than a little disappointing because this is the point in their career where they should experiment with their established sound.

Now it’s worth mentioning the guitar work has improved and does more than hit heavy chords.  This is one of the signifiers of a good song on the album, which starts to hit its stride toward the end around We Are Lost.  The two best titles being Stacking Bodies and the title track.  Stacking Bodies has a wonder rhythm and tempo that gets the head bobbing.  Deathgrip is the most experimental song on the record and strikes an excellent balance with its crushing breakdowns and soft portions.

Fit For A King also did a good job with the lyrics throughout the album.  They’re meaningful and passionately angry, which complements their musical style quite well.  The quality holds up for the entire album and none felt too out of place, which helped with the record’s flow during the rocky start.

Fans will find a lot to love (and plenty to throwdown to in the pit) with Deathgrip.  With that said, if breakdowns aren’t your cup of tea, then you may want to wait for the next release.  The album is far from perfect, but it also has more than a handful of enjoyable songs.  Fit For A King is a talented band, but they need to leave their comfort zone in order to reach their potential.

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