This 5 five piece from South Wales have been steadily making a name for themselves on the UK’s live circuit, building a more than solid reputation of being a live band of considerable worth with the songs to back up the plaudits. And the reason for this relatively swift rise up the UK’s metal/rock ranks is clear to hear. King Kraken have got groove, they’ve got soul, they’ve got the muthafuckin’ tunes and now, with debut album MCLXXX, they’ve the means to deliver their message to the masses!
As heavy as the Kraken’s stupendously pendulous balls, this magnificently massive cephalopod in human form has the girth, the weight and the formidable power of its mythical namesake. MCLXXX is hearty stuff, built on continuous forward momentum and more than just a knack for an earworm or two.
You can hear the nods to the likes of Clutch, Mastodon, Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity and Black Stone Cherry sprinkled throughout MCLXXX but King Kraken are very much their own band, and ably avoid merely going over old familiar ground.
When the metallic action hits (such as on the final 2 mins of the head-stomping “Haddonfield 78”), you’d be forgiven for thinking the UK had contenders to Lamb Of God’s throne in our ranks. But to pigeonhole them in such a way would actually do King Kraken a considerable disservice. This is a versatile band that can do ‘heavy’ – “Bastard Liar” is bastard heavy. Plain and simple – but they can also shift gear into bluesier, groovier terrain at the drop of a hat, such as on the irresistible “Proctors Ledge”. King Kraken are a multi-tentacled beast, that’s for damn sure. These dudes don’t pussy-foot around either. No sir! They come charging at you; eyes wide, bellies-a-wobblin’ and ready for the fight.
With the likes of Massive Wagons and Doomsday Outlaw making waves in the UK rock scene, you can now officially add the mighty King Kraken to that list and, while they may be undeniably heavier than those aforementioned bands, they carry that same spirit of hard work, honest-to-goodness talent and a desire to rock the shit out of you, at each and every opportunity. And we thank them for it.
A big old rumblin’, tumblin’ brute of an album, King Kraken’s MCLXXX will go down as one of the finest UK debuts of 2023 – no question! 8/10
King Kraken‘s MCLXXX was released on January 27th, 2023