King 810 are hitting up the UK for the first time and last night they rolled into Glasgow. With their debut album currently proving polarizing among the metal community, there is an air of expectancy mingled with a sense of interest. A lot of people here are looking to be impressed by King 810 and it feels very much like one of those nights that will make or break the band to that particular audience.
Up first however are Astroid Boys, who I have to admit are just not my thing at all. In saying that they come across as cool guys and I enjoy moments of their set, however it’s too much hip hop, not enough metal for my taste. There is no denying that there is a strong core of people who are obviously big fans, so if you do like hip hop, they are probably worth your time.
Much more to my personal taste is Hang the Bastard, whom I reviewed for Get Your Rock Out just the other week. Their new album suggests there is big things coming from these guys and tonight continues that belief. There is no mucking about when it comes to this particular live show, filling the stage with smoke and lighting it in red, the band are mysteriously shadowed as they rip through a set containing more kick ass riffs than any band has the right to wield. Lead singer Thomas Hubbard (not Michael Carver as I wrongly claimed in the above review) is an intimidating onstage presence and without saying a word directly to the crowd, these guys make a huge impression. Having released one of the best metal albums of the year, there is no denying that Hang the Bastard are special.
Another band who are looking to prove they are special is King 810 and as they hit the stage there is a palpable air of excitement in the room. The stories that have flocked ahead of these guys have led many to believe them dangerous and there is an element of not knowing what could happen in the next hour or so. Therefore, it is slightly surprising to find them a slick and polished live act, strong both musically and in a visual sense. They spend the first portion of the show cloaked in shadow, adding to the sense of mystery around these men.
The music is a bit less mysterious and while in the live environment tracks like “Killem All” and “Murder Murder Murder” definitely get the crowd moving, it does show up just how meat and potatoes metal they are. However, much like the album, it’s when King 810 mix things up that it becomes truly interesting. Tracks like it “Take It” and “State of Nature” are genuinely interesting and show a different side to this group, that suggests there might be something special there.
A thunderous “Fat Around the Heart” closes things out and it is hard not to see tonight as a success. Sure, there are some hitches. The spoken word piece “Anatomy 1:2” bothered me on the album and it does the same live, particularly when played to a room where most people are chatting and having a laugh while it is going on. I’m sure there is a lot of power in those words, but they lose a lot of it in such an environment. I also think David Gunn’s vocals were a bit lost in some of the faster songs, as the clarity of what he was saying was lost among the music. Both of those were small quibbles however, in what was ultimately a fantastic live debut in Scotland. King 810 look well on the way to installing themselves as one of metals biggest up and comers and if they can continue putting on shows like they did last night, not much will stand in their way.