Rarely do we come across bands with women fronting them, and with For I Am King we see Alma Alizadeh stepping in and delivering something extraordinary. For I am King, a Netherlands based Metalcore outfit, have come out with their sophomore album, I. The album is signed up with Redfield records and was released last December the 7th. Their debut album Daemons won them much applause and launched them well and gave them the opportunity to play at Wacken Open Air.
Have you ever tried screaming? Well let me tell you, it is not easy, I’ve tried plenty of times and it takes a lot to bring out whats in one’s mind to one’s voice, and Alma kills it! What comes out as its result is brutal Metalcore with plenty of ambience added keeping this record heavy and straight. Metalcore as a genre restricts itself within the realms of odd time sequences, breakdowns, melodic riffs and a clean interlude. It gets hard to deliver something fresh when the formulaic has been laid out so rigid. Let’s find out how this record shapes.
We start off with “Prey”, which sets up a grand soundscape right at the outset with plummeting guitar riffs and Alma bringing forth the rawness that’s needed to kickstart this album. This songs sets the tone for the rest of the album and gives us a glimpse to what is to come. “Forever Blind”, stuns with a highly tonal guitar riff which shouts overdrive and leads on to hammering guitar riffs and drum rolls carrying the song forward to an Epic chorus. “Home”, sets out on a more comfortable note but loses no energy as we transition from one song to another. The guitars pan out and bring in a terrific breakdown with a hypnotic yet eerie interlude.
“Misery”, haunts us with a beautiful intro, something very formulaic, what follows will blow your mind away. The progressive riff that follows takes the centre stage and forays the song into a different territory with Alma lashing it out in full force. “Invidia”, the only instrumental track on the album keeps it short and sweet, laying out a much needed melodic guitar solo to satiate our soul. “In flames”, gets a little upbeat with its introductory riff and surprises us with a high pitched screams, something synonymous with Dani Filth. Now I’m impressed. The overall track sounds like a rendition of Cradle of filth meets August burns Red, with face melting solos to top it off.
“The Reaper of Souls” gets one grooving and showcases tremendous musical calibre, each member being their best, and somehow we’re lurking onto black metal territory here. This, in my humble opinion is the heaviest track of this album. I can just go berserk listening to this live. “Devotion” builds on a catchy riff that carries the song, but its Alma who steals the show with her visceral and guttural growls. “In Memory” ploughs and rams you with blast beats that will ingrain the bands signature on you and “Havoc” signs off this tremendous album in style. This song is definitely sweeping you off your feet with its tremendous energy and eclectic guitar solo that culminates and gives the final touch to this masterpiece.
Production – The production on this album is top-notch. Although a tad bit of care should have been given while balancing the sound, but evidently they outdid themselves.
Conclusion – This has to be the freshest, the most brutalist and shrillest album that I’ve heard off late. There are few female fronted bands that I’ve loved, namely, Otep and Arch Enemy, but with this record For I am King joins the list. I recommend you buy it!
Written by: Ankit Sood
2. Forever Blind
6. In Flames
7. The Reaper of Souls 8. Devotion
9. In Memory
Alma – Vocals
Wouter – Guitar
Koen – Guitar
Jaap – Drums
Releasse Date: December 7, 2018
Record Label: Redfield Records
“Revengeance” EP (2014)
“Daemons” (2016) [review]
Video for ‘Prey’
Video for ‘Forever Blind’
Video for ‘Devotion’