Fit for a King
Deathgrip


4.0
excellent

Review

by artiswar USER (14 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2017 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: He lives— he lives among us.

It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Dallas-based kings of christian metalcore Fit For A King since their inception in 2007. Having cycled through over a dozen members in that time, and having shifted musical direction several times, the crew is back with Deathgrip, their fourth studio album. Does this mix of new-and-old guard find the band still holding their competitors in a stranglehold or merely treading water in an over-saturated metalcore landscape"

For starters, Deathgrip mostly pretends like the last record, Slaves To Nothing -a much more melodic and groove-laden record- didn’t happen. Instead, the band picks up where Creation/Destruction left off and propels their harsh/melodic sides to new extremes. There is an even heavier reliance on huge vocal hooks than before throughout Deathgrip, and the songs live and die by them; When they work, they send tracks like Cold Room and We Are All Lost sailing into the stratosphere, but occasionally they drag an otherwise solid song like Dead Memory into the dumps when Ryan plaintively cries dull lyricisms like “would you even care if my heart stopped beating"” repeatedly. Lead single Pissed Off is short and to-the-point, and broadcasts its message clearly with big dumb riffs and down-tuned breakdowns, but it only scratches the surface of what Fit For A King is capable of these days.

While the first half of Deathgrip is a little safe and hit-and-miss, the gloves come off during the second half with a string of dynamic tracks showcasing the band firing on all cylinders. Shadows & Echoes and We Are All Lost feature very polished and well-developed hooks that will quickly worm their way into your psyche, while Stacking Bodies ratchets up the heaviness to absurd proportions with layered breakdowns that come crashing down like faulty machinery that jerks and stutters to the finish line. But the true gem of the album is the meticulous title-track; Ryan delivers the verses in a hushed lethargic manner, sounding like a man beaten and barely breathing while the chorus smoothly juxtaposes erratic explosions of anger with soaring, haunted singing lines that coalesce in a truly arresting way. It’s the most vibrant and infectious track of the bunch, oozing a sheer desperation and finality that is hard to shake afterwards.

Time has not slowed down Fit For A King, nor has a shifting line-up. They’re not reinventing the wheel here, but they’re not trying to, instead they are earnestly fine-tuning and finding ways to inject mass-appeal elements elegantly into their music without completely abandoning their sound like many of their peers who are struggling to remain relevant have. There’s no whiff of identity crisis here, no shoe-horned electronica. Fit For A King know exactly who they are and what they do best and leave the clumsy genre-gymnastics to other acts; Here they are feeding off their own roots and sounding hungry and revitalized while doing so.



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user ratings (137)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SteakByrnes
June 2nd 2017


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Pretty good write up, but I dig Dead Memory a lot haha. Also wish they kept up the groovy "techy" riffs on Slave To Nothing like Impostor, Greater Sense of Self, etc., but I dig the crushing bottom string riffs on this album. Still dislike the new singer, and it's good that Ryan does some cleans here and there on this as he has always been the best part about the band (hugely underrated vocalist). Aaron was the best clean vocalist they had, shame he left after the redux of Descendants

Digging: Ghost Atlas - Sleep Therapy: An Acoustic Performance

cloakanddagger
June 2nd 2017


320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, agree that the first half of the album plays it a little safe and I also wish they'd done more of the groovy stuff that was present on Slave to Nothing.

artiswar
June 2nd 2017


6844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, they could have done a better job incorporating some elements from that record rather than sidestepping it entirely. I never warmed up to that one fully due to some of the super nasally clean singing which is gone here thankfully.



I forgot to mention that the lyrics on this album are bleak as fuck. Usually these christian bands have lyrics on the more uplifting side, but who ever is writing them (Ryan?) is really in the dumps, somebody please give him a hug.

SteakByrnes
June 2nd 2017


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

To be fair, Ryan has always had lyrics like that

SteakByrnes
June 2nd 2017


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Just listened through this in full again for the first time in a couple months, Ryan should take up all the cleans tbh because he's so much better than Tuck

artiswar
June 2nd 2017


6844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Which songs does Tuck sing on? It's very hard keeping track of who's singing on what with this band. I'm just glad the really nasally cleans from Slave To Nothing are gone, those were kinda shady.



I've had the back half of this album on repeat for the past few days and it rules. I think it's actually better than Creation/Destruction. The chorus on We Are All Lost is really beautiful. I think I undersold how on point Ryan is on this, his vocals are crazy good especially on the last 2 tracks

Themaxwell23
June 3rd 2017


115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lead singer looks like a gnome 😕

StickFeit
June 3rd 2017


1020 Comments


Steven Wilson's fat younger brother

SteakByrnes
June 3rd 2017


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

From memory I know that Tuck sings the chorus on Shadows & Echoes, I'd have to listen again to hear all of his appearances. If it helps, he sings all of the choruses on Slave To Nothing other than Forever Unbroken (which Ryan sings)

DeadPoe
March 25th 2018


82 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fun album

artiswar
March 25th 2018


6844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really is.

SteakByrnes
March 25th 2018


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Criminally underrated band tbh

DeadPoe
March 31st 2018


82 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lyrics are so fucking bad

DeadPoe
March 31st 2018


82 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lyrics are so fucking bad

artiswar
March 31st 2018


6844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not by metalcore standards

SteakByrnes
March 31st 2018


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

They're hit and miss for me

Beardog
June 1st 2018


2728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This record is so good, can't believe they are already releasing a new one pretty soon, I love the glitchy breakdowns and just how pissed off Ryan sounds. Production is half great, would be cool if the drums sounded more natural. This record is basically what I wanted this band to do after I heard Slave to Nothing, which I thought had some great ideas but dabbled in generic nu-metal / metalcore too many times.

SteakByrnes
June 1st 2018


14469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ryan does sound fantastic on this for sure. I do wish the more riffy gutiar style of Slave to Nothing was present here more

Beardog
June 1st 2018


2728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have you heard their latest single? It's pretty cool I think, has a nice deathcore vibe to it

KenboSlice
June 1st 2018


2981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I could never get into this album as much as Slave To Nothing. I only come back to a few tracks on this.



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