Released: 2012, VÁN records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
King Dude is Pagan / American folk band from Seattle. The band was founded back in 2006 and has now released their 3rd full length album Burning Daylight under VÁN records. Burning Daylight is a dark and atmospheric album composed in traditions of neo-folk. It is not an album that is recommended to those looking for some musical sensations or masterpieces, and you genuinely won’t find this album appealing if you’re into finding something you can “air-guitar” or “head-bang” to.
Most likely it is going to appeal to those who are interested in darker stuff, like occultism, religious themes, mythical creatures and actually paying attention to the lyrics. Burning Daylight was inspired by The Great Disappointment (an event that took place in the mid-19th Century in which the return of Jesus was prophesized but failed to happen). Subjects discussed in this album come across the devil and selling your soul, love, loss and nature.
The main man behind King Dude is singer TJ Cowgill, who is also known as the vocalist in a Death metal band Book Of The Black Earth and the owner of an online occult-clothing store “Actual Pain.” His distinctive baritone vocals work perfectly with the occult-inspired and doom musical background.
King Dude takes us back to the days when blues was classed as the devil’s music. Their music is based on the traditional American folk and blues, arranged with different sound distortions and is a tough one to figure out. Musically, King Dude are influenced by folk and rock artists like Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash, as well as neo-folk bands like Death In June and Sol Invictus. Echo and reverb effects are often used on Burning Daylight creating regal atmosphere and adding more space to the music. Lyrically, there’s an obvious connection that can be drawn between King Dude and artists like Bob Dylan, Joy Division and Black Sabbath.
The first single off the album “Jesus in the Courtyard” is a dark, ambient and acoustic piece based on a simple blues riff and echoed vocals. It’s unique in its simplicity and what matters more is the atmosphere rather than the actual music.
Other highlights out of Burning Daylight include the most romantic song on the album called “You Can Break My Heart” and “My Mother Was the Moon,” where Cowgill on vocals is joined by his wife to record a great ballad filled with mysticism and romance.
There are a lot of bands today who talk a lot about occultism and religion in their lyrics. Sometimes they are serious about it, but sometimes more or less ridiculous, as they seem to have no idea what they are on about. King Dude really mean what they sing about. Sometimes they seem so serious about it, that it will make you feel uncomfortable.
Here’s an album that is so mysterious that it is suggested to be listened to on vinyl. You are either going to love it, hate it, or it is going freak you out as Black Sabbath records once freaked out the audience in the early 1960s. Or, in the worst case, you are just going to find it boring and keep searching for some “head-bang” material.
Review by Anna Dumpe