We waited a while to review King Leviathan’s debut, Paean Heretica. We let the noise die down, gave ourselves some time to absorb it fully, instead of rush-releasing a review. We listened to it over and over, our favourite track alternating after each and every listen and we slowly drew our conclusions.
Why, you may ask, are we making a big deal about being slow to release our review? The answer is simple. Paean Heretica is singularly the most impressive debut album from a UK band in an age. It’s so fucking good that it requires repeat encounters to fully comprehend the sheer quality on display and to fully absorb all that’s on offer here.
Black metal, death metal, thrash, it’s all accounted for, and it all flows seamlessly, with King Leviathan traversing sub-genres with ease to deliver an extreme metal classic in the making. It’s not often you encounter a UK band who not only encompass the facets of the big guns of extreme metal but often surpass them. It’s not often you can shout the names Behemoth or Aura Noir and in the same breath justify the inclusion of a new UK act but that is most certainly the case here.
At the heart of Paean Heretica lies an understanding of what makes an extreme metal band rise to the top. From a sense of mystery, grandeur and unpredictability to the use of dark, twisted imagery and the kind of sweeping songwriting that demands full attention, King Leviathan have it all….and the cult is growing. Theirs is a march into oblivion and they’re taking us along for the road, one disciple at a time.
These “devout worshippers of sorrow, violence and speed” may have been operating for a relatively short time but they are fast making a name for themselves and Paean Heretica, for a debut album, is a work of near genius. Oh, and if you were wondering, the songs are uniformly excellent throughout, with King Leviathan fashioning an occult like experience out of blast-beats, black metal meets thrash metal riffing, growls, screams and cleans via an epic template that never once fails to impress.
Children of leviathan take heed, your time has come….worship the NEW gods of extreme metal! 10/10