Roadrunner Records metal outfit King 810 have worked on finely tuning their craft since their formation in 2007, but one thing that has helped them reach a larger audience is the controversy that surrounds their creation and message. Their debut EP, Midwest Monsters and debut album, Memoirs of a Murderer drew in as many fans as detractors if not for its style, for the violent and often grim lyrical content layered over very dark backdrops. Coupled with a wild live presence and connections to violence, the band seems to be at the forefront of discussion for many nu-metal and metal fans. With the release of their sophomore album, La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God, the band continues down their path of holding nothing back through a flurry of unrelenting heaviness and nu-metal influences while experimenting with jazz and blues stylings towards the end, while continual dark, lyrical content drives the message of the record home.
The album starts off dark, heavy and unapologetic with the opening song “Heavy Lies the Throne”, which utilizes spoke word verses that quickly descend into sludgy, heavy mayhem. “Heavy Lies the Throne” highlights one of the weaknesses of the album, in that the heavy parts often have a hard time keeping the listeners attention. While the violent, dark lyrics are sure to get the listeners attention, it’s often hard to stay focused throughout the slow, sludgy heavy parts. While many songs on La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God may be familiar to fans the band, they also venture outside their comfort zone into new territory which helps some breathe some fresh life into the album. Songs such as “Black Swan” and “Me & Maxine” utilize a more ambient, spoken word approach, edging more towards the realm of pure poetry in music, while Detroit rapper Trick Trick makes an appearance on “War Time”, truly driving home the nu-metal approach.
It is safe to say that this album is not for the faint of heart as King 810 continue their streak of not holding back on the message they want to get across, hearkening on personal experiences throughout their lives. The lyrical content ranges from getting shot or stabbed to full on murder, wrapping up the album in a package that is quintessentially about violence, causing the band to delve into some harsh realities that many artists dare not venture. Furthermore, there is no desire of holding back or restraining themselves shown, which is one of the reasons they are such a polarizing band. Essentially, iff violent and dark lyrics are not to your fancy, this album is not for you.
Overall, King 810 have created a mixed bag with La Petite Mort or a Conversation with God. The heavier, nu-metal influenced songs meld together and have a hard time standing out, but where they truly succeed is when they step outside the comfort zone. Spoken word poetic songs like “Wolves Run Together” and “I Ain’t Going Back Again” or the rap driven “War Time” sees the band at their best with simple yet ambient, nu-metal influenced songs. Even better is the last few tracks on the album which start to incorporate other elements of musical genres, including blues and jazz while the lyrical content takes a turn towards away from the dark despairing world of violence. That being said, this is an album that continues taking the outfit down the path they started years ago and finds them truly at home in their own sound.