Slovakian duo Ivan “King” Kráľ (keyboards and programming) and Norbert Ferencz (guitars) form King SVK and proclaim their third studio album “New Aeon” as Original Metal stating “Metal originated in England, but it will be revived in Slovakia!”. The albums roots are in Ancient Egypt with lyrics based on the magnificent stories of Egyptian Pharaohs and Gods, mythology, philosophy. The theme of the sea also plays a part.
Egyptian inspired programming and while an odd Australian accented spoken word interrupts, the guitars bring “Ozymandias” to life with thunderous groove. The dark and broody unclean vocals are nothing short of brutal with a fist pumping chant of “My name is Ozymandias. King Of Kings!” it struggles with the first accented clean vocal part which seems a little rushed but the second is far more balanced. As with the first cut, the Egyptian traditional music is joined by a spoken word, this time more of a history lesson before “Hymnus Aton” kicks in with some Black Metal esq uncleans and classic Metal lead work. Just when you think you’ve worked out the King SVK’s style with the speed and punch of thrash and death metal, they add some gang chants and horns into the mix that sound like a group of Vikings have had a few beers at Oktoberfest. It’s as much fun as it is unexpected. “Chant Of Praise Of Nimaatee” keeps the horns firmly in place, acting almost as a lead guitar on the rhythm sections. The horns are better in the latter half of the track where they’re given more space to breathe than they are in the chorus. It would be interesting to hear the track without them as on the first few listens they are a distraction for the guitar work.
A Hammond Organ brings in “Seeking Of Being” which cleanses the pallette before an opening salvo of riffs. The horns return for the the second wave of riffs but these are better placed and less prominent in the mix. Chunky slabs of riff work with plenty of headbang ability and more icy organ work give an epic feel before the a scatter brain organ solo and build back into the flow of guitar work. It’s Jazz Metal but not as you know it and the guitar solo is tastefully pared down. “Homeless” uses the clean vocal in the fore front and the unclean as a backing vocal which is uncomfortable on the first listen but works over repeated ones. Having the catchy hook line of “I’m free as an Eagle” and some glorious lead guitar work gives it something else even if some of the synths aren’t needed. “Venetian Night” sees the duo joined by an unnamed female vocalist for a dual sung approach to the clean patterns as the focus while some galloping kit work and Cathedral lead guitars make some it a stand out track. Not least because some of the bolt-ons are dropped in the mix and it’s a straight forward onslaught.
“Sea In The Soul” is expresses King’s connection with the water element being born in the Zodiac sign of the Aquarian. Thea soaring female vocals are a nice touch while the paring down of the horns in the mix bolsters the opportunity to hear more of the impressive guitar work. “After Swimming” brings back the male female combination of sung cleans at the same time which plays off nicely against the backdrop of Euro Metal guitar work with a few progressive moments in the blend. An upsurge in dark energy comes with “With Horus In The Sky” as it throws everything and the kitchen sink at the opening verse. A return to the uncleans, a smattering of blast beats and some ferocious Dark Metal riffs making it a stand out cut. “The Age Age Of Aquarius” throws down some pause break riffage with some improved clean vocals and Thrashed up guitar work. The expansive solo has more freedom than some of the others on the album and finishes the album on arguably it’s finest cut [7/10]
Chant Of Praise Of Nimaatee
Seeking Of Being (Instrumental)
Sea In The Soul
With Horus In The Sky
The Age Of Aquarius
“New Aeon” by King SVK is out 22nd October via Sliptrick Records