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King Cruel - EP Review: Creeper

22 Dec 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Creeper is the debut EP from King Cruel, a 'Psychedelic Stoner Doom Metal' trio from Auckland. According to Encyclopaedia Metallumthe line up consists of Evan Cooper on drums, Josh Hodgson on guitars, and Luke Oram on vocals. However, as far as online presence goes, King Cruel are otherwise rather enigmatic and mysterious, hinting only vaguely at the dark forces that brought together this unholy gathering of seasoned musical alchemists.

Their Creeper EP boasts the title track, along with two others, Resurrection and Shotgun Sally, so is a decent punchy listen at just over 13 minutes. It can be difficult for bands to label themselves, in terms of genre. A specific label can be misleading, as often it doesn't capture the more subtle nuances of a band's true sound. I believe that such has been the case here, as whilst of course there are plenty of the elements one would associate with labels like 'psychedelic' and 'doom metal', there's a lot more going on in this dark and heady mix.

Creeper has a haunting, morbid atmosphere. If this was in a movie soundtrack, it would be the music that accompanied a hapless victim being slowly but inexorably pursued, until they find themselves in a dead-end alley, where they gruesomely meet their dead end. Grim and Gothic riffs smokily tie together bombastic drums and bone-chilling vocals. The monstrously fat groove of Resurrection is both the consistency and passive threat of quicksand. Luke's powerful, driven vocals take this track from the quagmire to the stratosphere, an absolute banger of a track. By comparison, Shotgun Sally has an almost jarring feel. Solid and pounding drums push some snaky and aggressive riffing, layered over with lush, almost languid vocals, all together creating a dream-like and brooding track.

King Cruel have the air of a band only just beginning to scratch at the surface of what they're capable of, and they're certainly capable of creating superbly dark and powerful music already. Watch this space, I say.


About King Cruel

In the howling depths of the Antipodean musical abyss, there emerged a thunderous entity known only as King Cruel - a psychedelic doom metal band born from the depths of a hallucinogenic inferno.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for King Cruel


Year: 2023
Type: EP

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