Up and coming band A Feast For Kings recently released their debut EP, “Hell on Earth,” marking a huge step in their career. AFFK claim themselves to be a progressive metal band, and reign from Carrollton, Kentucky. You’ll definitely hear some metalcore and nu-metal influences, which seems to set this group apart from the pack. Accompanying the sometimes intricate guitar style is an enthralling combination of vocals from Eric Gentry (vocals) and Seth Weigand (guitar/vocals). Gentry provides some heavy screams that are somewhat comparable to Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King, while Weigand has a matured and refined vocal style. Members Kyle Phillips, Carson Butcher, and Jamie King equally contribute to AFFK’s sound, fortifying the band’s strength in the low-end, bass pounding section.
The EP begins with “React/Regret,” a lyrically sound story of past mistakes. The lyrics from A Feast For Kings may be one of the stronger aspects of this release, which allow the listener to go along with a story while also providing an all-encompassing moral. The operatic intro prepares the listener for the immediate dive into a heavy guitar riff, as well as Gentry’s deep screams.
She caught me off guard /
Life sold short with the truth of
No sun rising / Now it’s all gone
The consequences seem / Never-ending
(Rescue me) / So rescue me
In my opinion, the lyrics are painting a picture of a man who has fallen into lust and the lingering regret that has to be dealt with. Using the same lyrical structure, the next track “Idée Fixe” tells the story of confronting addiction. Painting another vivid story, the two vocalists do a fantastic job of complementing the progression of the instruments. Weigand’s vocal lead during the chorus is most likely one of the finer aspects of the album, and brings a great amount of character to the song.
A hundred times and
A hundred more
I want this but I need you more
The lyrics take a turn away from addiction, and turn to God for a source of comfort. Carson Butcher (drums) even adds his screamed vocals into the mix, which contributes to an already fully rounded song. There are many other great aspects of this EP such as the Between the Buried and Me-esque riff in “Consequence,” and the chorus in “Brittle Spirit”.
With all of these great qualities, there aren’t many negative things to say about AFFK’s release. Some constructive criticism, however, could be offered. For example, the vocal turn that chorus in “Living Deceased” takes is not up to par with the other cleans that Weigand provides, and it could have been slightly better. I’d also love to see A Feast For Kings rely more on their personal talents, rather than the added effects of synths and strings. While these things do add a certain ambiance to the overall sound, this band could really show off their strengths without the (at times, excessive) use of them. Other than these small details, “Hell on Earth” is an amazing EP that everyone should pick up!
For fans of Fit For A King, Born of Osiris, and Jamie’s Elsewhere.