Fit for a King
The Path


2.5
average

Review

by costofnothing USER (12 Reviews)
September 18th, 2020 | 65 replies


Release Date: 09/18/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cracking The Mirror

Listening to the first few tracks of Fit For A King’s “The Path”, it's pretty clear that they are trying to split the difference between Sirius XM Octane radio rock and As I Lay Dying influenced melodic metal that was at a peak in the 2000s. Melodic leads segway into clean choruses often backed with electronic leads and “WOAH-OH WOAH-OH” chants clearly meant for venues far bigger than the dive bar people typically go to see their favorite metalcore act on a work day. Looking at this album for the sum of its parts, I have to at least appreciate Fit For A King for being honest about the sonic change concerning this album, even if a good amount of it sounds cheesy and generic as ever.

The singles for this album were quite divisive, a mixture of stuff that stayed pretty faithful to the chug-chug melodic grooves+anthemic chorus formula they had nailed quite well on “Dark Skies” and songs in the vein of the newest Wage War, I Prevail, or Parkway Drive, cleanly produced radio rock with a large emphasis on “emotional” heaviness. At a technical level, Fit For A King remains solid, especially in the drums department. The first two tracks, “The Face of Hate” and “Breaking The Mirror” are full of propulsive, intricate playing supplemented by speedy tom and snare fills. But what is instantly noticeable on songs like “God Of Fire” and “Prophet” are the prominence of electronic effects at various parts, and it seems like mostly a tool used to compensate for the repetitive DUN-DUN-JUNZ-JUNZ-WEE-WEE riffs that play through most of those songs, until the breakdown, which is a slight variation on what came before. It’s something, and shows that Fit For A King has some awareness of a lot of their peers adopting the same sounds into a genre that has gotten pretty stale, but it doesn’t elicit much of an emotional reaction from the listener when it is fundamentally just a supplement to fairly straightforward verse-chorus-verse-chorus(x2) songs that try to fall in between the sweet spot of “heavy enough for the old fans” and “catchy enough to get new ones.”

Perhaps one of the most predictable elements of these kinds of sound changes for metalcore bands wanting to break into the mainstream is the amount of hard rock/groove metal tropes they shove into songs. There are screaming solos littered throughout, and even a very obvious Pantera rip on title track “The Path,” to the point where it might resurrect Dimebag just for him to issue a cease-and-desist. At the same time, it is hard to really hate it, as Fit For A King has the stellar vocal duo of Ryan Kirby, who still demonstrates enough range at times to front a deathcore band on heavier tracks like “Stockholm” and “Vendetta” and Tuck O’Leary, whose singing voice isn’t the best in the world but does a good job at not being extremely grating. Lyrics run the gamut from typical motivation-core fare to laughably cheesy, nothing to write home about there. It reaches a spectacular low on “Locked(In My Head)” with a chorus literally saying “nobody understands” and “A war against myself.” Lyrics like these remind me that even a mediocre poet could wipe the floor with any metalcore band in penning thoughtful things to say.

From a more sympathetic point of view, it is understandable as to why Fit For A King is trying to make its way into stadiums on this album. Reading interviews with Ryan will reveal that for a while the band really struggled, spending a lot of time on the road, away from their families, and barely making any money. “Dark Skies” launched them to the upper echelon of the metalcore scene, and from there it must have been quite hard to resist the next big leap into mainstream appeal. There’s no doubt that Fit For A King is still making sincere and competent music, but paying the bills isn’t always compatible with being interesting.



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user ratings (76)
2.9
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
costofnothing
September 18th 2020


148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First review after a bunch of college stuff had me just lurking this site for a while. This band gets a lot of love on reddit.

Emim
September 18th 2020


29014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Face of Hate has some heavy AILD vibes. That one and The Path are pretty fun, but the rest of this is pretty mediocre.

bigweinerdon
September 18th 2020


994 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

jesus these guys are awful

costofnothing
September 18th 2020


148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Emim No surprise, I remember they said in an interview once that if they could bump one CD in the van forever it would be AILD's Awakened

SteakByrnes
September 18th 2020


21114 Comments


I have no urge to check this after all of the weak singles, but whoever mixed Ryo's guest spot should be shot. Good review brother

Digging: Motives - Death Throes

costofnothing
September 18th 2020


148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't even comment on Ryo's feature because it was so underwhelming

SteakByrnes
September 18th 2020


21114 Comments


They made a powerful vocalist sound so buried and weak, every live video of them doing it has Ryo going absolutely wild

TooLateToGoBack
September 18th 2020


2032 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They've always had trouble with decent production - often alternating between good and bad between albums - and this album falls on the bad spectrum.



I've listened to God of Fire a dozen times and I don't I've ever noticed a second vocalist - which is hilarious.

SteakByrnes
September 18th 2020


21114 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t7apzObSZc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o32Kkl8QB_w

Peep either of those, Ryo goes off

Emim
September 18th 2020


29014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Steak, the two I mentioned are worth at least a listen. The rest is just so forgettable. I hate how much plodding four on the floor rhythms they use here.

SteakByrnes
September 18th 2020


21114 Comments


I'll check them just for you bb

DreamAgain
September 18th 2020


1503 Comments


Been meaning to listen to this bands older stuff never really got in to them.

This album is okay. Couple tracks I really enjoyed, one track that was pretty bad and then a bunch of inoffensive solidly average sounding stuff in between.

Basically, since the vocals are so damn solid nothing can ever really be that bad on here..

Lucman
September 18th 2020


4845 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

It's amazing they haven't evolved their art even the slightest step forward. That I really don't care for this branch of metalcore doesn't help any either. Terrible record.

Durrzo
September 18th 2020


2244 Comments


Not gonna bother with this one, even at their supposed best I have always been underwhelmed by this band. Kirby has some really legit harsh vox but I think the rest of the package is so boring, and the singles from this were trash.

On a positive note, Kirby is doing a deathcore project with Chris Wiseman from Currents and SoI, so that could be really cool.

Emim
September 18th 2020


29014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Basically, since the vocals are so damn solid nothing can ever really be that bad on here.."



There were several times I wish they would've committed to the breakdown way harder. Like how do you have a song called Annihilation with that neutered of a breakdown?



Also I think Kirby's been playing some Doom lately, with the "When the demons rise, we will kill them all" and "rip and tear" lines.

WeAreReturningHome
September 19th 2020


53 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"This band gets a lot of love on reddit."

Honestly, so many metalcore bands (They stop making Metalcore at some point too) that have low ratings on Sputnik are always circle jerked and loved on r/Metalcore somehow.

I'm pretty sure it became a thing after the sub started embracing diverse thoughts, different opinions and to not be metal gate keepers but sometimes it kinda gets ridiculous on how far you can go to defend poorly made music.

People on that sub were still finding ways to defend Kaliyuga (In Hearts Wake), PROXY: ANIMO (Being as an Ocean), Monomania (The Word Alive), and I still remember people defending Wage Wars clear attempt at selling out with Pressure.

It's usually the "tHeY aRe mAtUrInG" argument that's used to defend these bands.

Emim
September 19th 2020


29014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

People like it, which is why a lot of bands do it. Reddit is a bigger and more mainstream slice of society than sputnik and the music taste is gonna reflect that more often than not.

costofnothing
September 19th 2020


148 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reddit stays defending the most generic shit as "the future of metalcore" like jesus most of these bands are NOT metalcore if you count hardcore punk influence as necessary for a band to fall into the genre. Most of them are just djent with more breakdowns, nu-metal/buttrock, or melodeath ripoffs

DarthHideous1
September 19th 2020


256 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is so boring it was a pain to get through most of it

joshieboy
September 19th 2020


7786 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Damn, this is disappointing. A big step down from Dark Skies

Digging: Movements - No Good Left To Give



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