King Giant - Southern Darkness
Southern-infused Stoner Metal
10 songs (51:44)
Release year: 2009
King Giant
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Hailing from Virginia, USA, King Giant is another little-known stoner metal band trying to make their way in this genre, and I have to say I'm impressed. After hearing their album just once I was hooked. The music presented here follows the pattern laid down by countless stoner and other southern rock influenced metal bands over the past couple decades, and although King Giant do play it very safe on this album, their ability to write catchy and memorable material shines through.

The album starts off with the very heavy Solace, a mid-paced romp that makes use of big guitars and pounding drums along with plenty of wahhed out guitar solos. Their style definitely reminds me of genre cohorts like Down and Corrosion Of Conformity. Not a very original song by any means, but it lets you know where these guys stand and gives me a good feeling about them. Burning Regrets gets a bit more energetic with quicker guitars and drums. Mississippi River is also quite memorable with its slower, depressive intro; the only way I can describe it is like some kind of cross between Danzig and Nashville Pussy. I am really liking frontman Dave Hammerly's vocals so far; he has that deep, gravelly type of voice that fits this style of music very well. Machine Gun Mantra's opening guitar lead is very melodic and catchy, the vocals here don't impress me as much however. They’re mostly just half-spoken or half-yelled, but even so the chorus is still quite memorable. Desert Run opens with calm, clean guitars that create a nice contrast to many of the other songs on the album, and some Southern-guitar style melodic electric guitar notes drift in eventually. After the heavy riffs open up it becomes another catchy stoner rock anthem with a catchy chorus and plenty of melody that has a mean, dark edge to it. In my opinion it's a bit longer than it needs to be, but the intro was cool and the song itself is memorable once again after only a couple listens. Last note: if you can pick up the digipack of this album, it is definitely worth it for the excellent cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic Needle And The Spoon. Definitely one of the best Skynyrd covers I've ever heard. The vocal melodies are used to really capture your attention along with very catchy yet completely overdriven guitars.

While this is not an album that I would want to listen to all the way through many times, it certainly has some great songs that found their way into my daily playlists. These guys have a solid sound that, while not the most original out there, still packs a punch and keeps me interested. The guitar solos and occasional melody mix things up while still staying true to their Southern rock and stoner influences. Hammerly really tries to put some feeling behind his singing and the guitarists add plenty of darkness to their riffs and leads yet still have plenty of fun. A solid debut album with enough hooks to appeal to anyone who enjoys catchy, heavy rock music.

Killing Songs :
Solace, Burning Regrets, Machine Gun Mantra
Khelek quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by King Giant that we have reviewed:
King Giant - Dismal Hollow reviewed by Cory and quoted 89 / 100
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