King Conquer – 1776 (2013)


If you watch the news, you’re probably familiar with the constant onslaught of political agendas and following the lives of our respective country’s most infamous and powerful leaders. You may also feel like myself when I change the channel as soon as these stories become too much to handle. The only time politics or political agendas should ever enter my mind or ears is when I hear it through my headphones in the manner of Molotov Solution or the ever so destructive King Conquer. Lucky for us, King Conquer is on today’s review agenda.

The four-piece politically driven deathcore band from Naples, FL., is set to release its much anticipated second full-length record, 1776, on July 16 after being pushed back a few times. Delays aside, this record has been much anticipated in my books for roughly a year and a half now, especially considering the band released a pre-production track nearly 20 months ago and that teaser has nearly driven me insane waiting for the full thing.

Finally having 1776 in my grasp, I can assure you that the wait was definitely worth it. Having been around since 2002, King Conquer has managed to obtain just under 60,000 likes on Facebook and embarked on numerous tours ranging through North America. It’s no surprise that countless people across different nations have been waiting eagerly to hear what vocalist James Mislow and the gang have been up to. Having just recently lost their guitarist Johnathan Byrd many people didn’t know who they were going to get to fill in for them, but they patched up all holes in their setup and are ready to get back to the tour grind.

1776 starts off as if a train is hitting a building. Chugga chugga chugga…BOOM! It’s all killer, no filler on this record. The opening track, “A Day Late… And A Dollar Short,” was nothing short of destructive, especially for an opening track. While it may have already been released as a single to the public prior to the release of the album, hearing it as a single does no justice when its followed up by the second track, “Empires.” After religiously listening to America’s Most Haunted since its release back in 2010, I was unsure if King Conquer would be able to continue on with the immense breakdowns and harshly spoken vocals that erupted into a cataclysmic explosion of low growls and blast beats. My fears were pushed aside after hearing the first two tracks. Vocalist James Mislow’s insatiable highs sound as if Satan was stepping on a piece of Lego and letting out a death cry. 

The blast beats and breakdowns heard on 1776 are on par with everything the band has brought to us in the past. While some may become bored by King Conquer’s lack of uniqueness, I find the ability to mix James’ spoken and screamed vocals with some of the gnarliest blast beats to create some hell-raising breakdowns a feat that not many bands have accomplished without overdoing it or doing it improperly from the start.

The album only clocks in at 30 minutes, but it’s not the time you should be paying attention to; it’s the sheer attention to detail that the band did. The riffs are nothing short of perfectly executed and the drumming sounds as if drummer Chris Whited took some speed prior to the recording process and went as nuts as he could possibly go. With all of King Conquer releases comes an interlude. This time around, the interlude is titled “Solitary Confinement.” At first, I wasn’t too impressed with it. It starts with some slow riffs to chill the listener out before getting back into the political bashing masterpiece. Instead of a regular interlude, though, we’re hit with some amazing fretwork that sounds a little space-y and eventually picks up even more as the track goes along. Overall, the album followed the same lyrical principal as the previous album and fellow deathcore giants Molotov Solution – the destruction of the political regime and society’s abhorrent nature. This release was nothing short of amazing, mostly because King Conquer managed to follow up something phenomenal with something just as spectacular; a feat that rarely any band manages to pull off.