Album Review: King Corpse – Sacred Crimson

Album Review: King Corpse - Sacred Crimson

Album Review: King Corpse - Sacred Crimson
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Personally, I find sludge a bit of a challenge to review. Thick, soupy segments which slowly grind on for what seems like hours, roaring vocals that appear to speak with an anguish only those who have witnessed the horrors can understand and riffs as thick as the cummerbund on John Goodman. You must be a) in the mood to listen to it and b) appreciative of the effort and craft that bands invest.

So, lets introduce you to King Corpse, a trio from the Black Country. They line-up with Jack Cradock on Bass Guitar and vocals, James Pearson on Guitar, and Toby Sambidge on Drums. Formed in 2015, the inevitable line-up changes led to the arrival of Toby and their first EP, ‘King Corpse’. As they slowly worked the circuit, they gained opportunity to open for doom giants Conan and Monolord in 2018. With the release of ‘Sacred Crimson’, which is badged as an EP, King Corpse bring their particular style of sludge for your aural delectation. I say EP with raised eyebrows, because although it contains three previously released singles, the damn thing is 54 minutes long which in my book is a long player, not an extended play.

Anyway, the release opens with the first of five new original songs, the meaty ‘Exhumation’. A meandering journey with cascading riffs, Cradock’s slightly off-key wails and an intriguing style. More melody than may have been expected and combined with a serving of psychedelia which throws the curved ball early. ‘Climb My Bones’ is the inevitable ten minute plus explorative passage, combining space rock with crushingly heavy segments to great effect. The abstract ‘Lazar’ leads into Sons of Mourning, the most uncomfortable song on the release with Cradock hurling his lyrics in a frenzied rage before the band slow things down considerably, a mellow mid-section break providing welcome respite from the churning maelstrom which raged in the first part. A funeral paced closing part allows the darkness to descend, the emotion draining the blood but not before some chilling screams echo one final time.

The three remaining songs, ‘The Count’, ‘Sleepless’ and ‘Swamp Thing’ have been around for some time and are all neatly remastered by Chris Wilson who also mixed the release. All three songs show the raw talent that King Corpse possessed, and it’s a useful comparison with the newer material which does present as slightly more sophisticated and developed. For a young band, this is a fine slab which drags the band deep into the UK sludge league. Having seen a bit of them at HRH Metal in February, I’m assured that they can bring the crushing heaviness to the live scene. Whilst that may not be possible for the next few months, when King Corpse get back on stage, it should be some event.


King Corpse release 'Sacred Crimson' on 17th April.

ICYMI - Check out this week's episode of Devil's Island featuring King Corpse.

Header image credit: Will Morgan Photography

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