King Giant has managed to make a modern sounding Black Sabbath sound and hit it out of the park with “Dismal Hollow.” 8 tracks of southern greatness, with elements of doom and groove metal intertwined throughout. As you listen to this album in its entirety, you get a sense of America, silly as that sounds, it’s true.
‘Appomattox’ starts you off with a bang. Named after the Civil War battleground, from King Giant’s native Virginia, it is a story told from a phantom Confederate officer about past sins and violations of the innocent. The guitar work is solid and brings you on a slow head banging journey for almost 7 minutes.
‘Tale of Mathias’ is the first track where you get a true sense of how much this band has it together. A 4 minute song from the point of view of a woman in an abusive relationship, the chorus rings out loudly “Last time he ever laid a hand on me” with a haunting female harmony join in. The middle includes a great guitar solo with heavy hooks.
‘A Steward’s Prayer’ is most of the same southern flavor, although to a bit of slower, stoner metal tune. The hooks are slow, the beat is heavy and Hammerly’s vocals push forward. ‘6 O’Clock Swill’ is one of the faster tracks off the album, another nicely done track.
Finally you are put out to rest with my favorite track off the album entitled ‘O Drifter.’ More of the same Southern goodness; but I really think the haunting lyrical content bring this song out. The track is about picking up a drifter and finally killing her from the killer’s side of things. “I am the devil in disguise” he sings in his haunting tone. The guitar work is excellent and brings this album to a solid close as well.
King Giant are a DIY band and really deserve some spotlight because of the talent they possess. Its nice to hear a southern band in the metal world that not only use their roots of music but also passion. “Dismal Hollow” rounds out yet another successful album for 2012 already, but might take the cake in my eyes thus far. The production is excellent, the musicianship is excellent and the vocals are haunting and very well sung if you’re looking for a bluesy sound. Think of Danzig when you think of Hammerly’s voice, it’s the best I can think to compare it to. If you’re into southern metal, stoner/doom metal, or just want a generally awesome heavy metal release look no further.