Just before the doors close 2009 and it’s “Best of…” lists, into the halls of fame storm in Storm King. They sure know how to tear a place apart and not only due to their brutal outbrakes… Oh, no…these Pittsburg lads have plenty to say, play and do – and it is all bound to leave you open-jawed, craving for more, and regretting the premature ejaculation of a year summery you’ve probably posted somewhere. All that – even without mentioning the 16-minute E-P-I-C title track.
With a mood best described as that of a crash car race, opener “Keeper of Shadows” is closely followed by “The Death Equation”. The latter may lack some finesse, but does have a solid intact structure. “Angels Of Enmity” is much about technical death and thrash bolted together (vocals are rather based in throatal Sludge/heavy stoner/HC shouts) in resemblance to some chugging & crushing Robot off ‘Bot Wars. Most noticeably is its rapid drum action; Grinds, blast-beats, signature changes, amazing cymbal work (“Miss Anthropy” being a prime example) – it is all tightly packed in.
It concerns one, how such an amazing act remains quite unknown. “Angels Of Enmity” is more than what is necessary to go places. One reason might be the overall mix and balance between instruments; the drums, soundwise, come off as hollow. At times, they are just too sharp and thin for an album that isn’t straightforward Death metal – Storm King would rather benefit from a meatier mix. Yet what Storm King currently lack in studio-sound, they sure make up in song writing; be it without their excellent vocals in “A Constant Struggle Between Everything & Nothingness”, the massive teeth-grinding instrumental, or with ’em in the utter despair of “Lack Luster” or the mechanical apocalypse that is “Wallowing”.
Simply put, Storm King are inbreeds of both technical speed and accuracy with throat slicing aggressiveness. Among their family tree are ancestors such as the late Death (no pun intended) and Control Denied, Napalm Death, early Carcass and Exodus, while on parallel branches you’d find more recent relatives Down, Lamb of God, Crowbar and Mastodon. Such a tree is hard to ignore, although even without namedropping “Angels Of Enmity” is a great reason why the bumper sticker sent with the album will be worn proudly