I have a few friends who constantly say, “Yeah, I’m just so bored with metal these days y’know? No one’s putting out anything good anymore.” And, while things can stagnate in a genre for damn sure, and as much as I like to go back and revel in nostalgia with everyone else, that statement could not be more false. Metal is being pushed. Heavy bands are going softer, softer bands are getting heavier, people are combining genres in ways no one believed was possible before.
Sure, not every band is doing things like that, but it is happening. Amazing music is still being created every day, and I don’t know about you, but I’m insanely thankful for that. Did FIT FOR A KING reinvent the wheel with Dark Skies (September 14, Solid State Records)? No. Not at all. Did they refine their own sound, add in a few surprises, and make a very very cohesive and fantastic album that is fucking loads of fun from front to back? You bet your sweet ass they did. I am generally not a fan of “christ-core”. I find that it’s the same old tattered message over and over again, usually with eerily similar lyrics to boot, even from different bands.
As far as I recall, FFAK is a self-proclaimed Christian band, which is fine. It’s not my pig, so it doesn’t have to come to my farm (so to speak). Thankfully, this album is not that type of shitshow. I hear some mildly preachy lyrics throughout the record, but it’s not one of those pulpit pusher things where every other word is about sinners and shit. FFAK does a great job of staying rooted in current events with a majority of these songs, touching on things like political discourse in our world and depression (at least, that’s how I interpret the lyrics, could be 100% wrong.), but most importantly: with every message they try to convey, they make it fun as fuck.
To elaborate, they hit all the bases on this album. Fat ass two step grooves, blast beats, up-tempo smash fast bits, some heavy ass breakdowns, and…The CHORUSES. I’m not sure what they were smokin’ when making this record, but it must have led them on a vision quest for catchy melodies. “When Everything Means Nothing” might be one of the catchiest songs I have ever heard in my entire life, and I swear I listened to it, and nothing else, for five days straight after I first got this. With the proper push, and marketing, I could honestly see that one topping Billboard charts for a split second. I’m serious as a heart attack right now. I really hope it gets the traction it deserves because goddamn, what a song.
So metalcore’s got some boring bands in it. Name me a fuckin’ genre that doesn’t. Some people are just copy/pasting styles from everyone else, and some people aren’t even writing their own songs. If you’re not into it, don’t support it, plain and simple. But I certainly won’t stand idly by when being told that there’s no one doing anything good, refreshing, or exciting these days, especially when FIT FOR A KING is about to put this batch of ass beaters out with Dark Skies. Keep your ears open and get ready.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “When Everything Means Nothing”, “The Price of Agony”, “Backbreaker”