This heavy and inspired Australian doom/stoner metal band owes a lot to the best of Cathedral, before Dorrian went full-on 70’s kook. Though the comparison really only applies to the vocals and the ‘Endtyme’ and ‘The Last Spire’. It should be noted that I’m a huge Cathedral fan and it can’t be helped. As such, I really enjoyed King Zog’s debut. I caught myself humming along to the melodies of several songs, only feeling slightly embarrassed as I realized it was “Fuck Island” that I was saying out loud. It would seem King Zog are chock full of wry humor and offer a wise take on a drying, well-wrought metal sub-genre. Though closer inspection reveals greater depth, the fun of it is still well worth a chuckle and a bang, for sure.
From their confusing name (thanks Wikipedia, that didn’t clear it up at all) and tongue-wagging lyrics to their rumbling, trippy take on stoner doom ‘King Zog’ ultimately feels better with repeated listens. What first appeared somewhat shallow and less than serious develops into a smart and pleasant listen that isn’t afraid to shake it’s cock in your ear a bit. The biggest trend troubling stoner doom of the last ten years is absolutely Electric Wizard guitar tones on riffless, non-musical records that avoid the history of both sludge and doom; hearing a halfway brilliant set of songs like those of King Zog is refreshing for their clarity and catchy quality.
There is a bit of fat to be trimmed. The best parts of this album could be cut down to about 45 minutes instead of 54 as I see little need for “Liz Business” or “Hexagram”. But all things considered the songs still work alongside the others. An easy recommendation for doom metal fans who are inclined to enjoy the less than serious side of stoner doom on the side. If so inclined, at least preview the “Temple’s Temple” and “Fuck Island” tracks to get a feel for their style.
|Released||May 1, 2017|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow King Zog on Facebook|
Doom Metal, Stoner Metal