Rat King is a slab of all things heavy built around a vicious barrage of death metal by Sweden’s As You Drown. Not eager to be trying anything overly experimental, this is a band predominantly stuck within the constraints of a genre.
However, what we learn some way into the album is that tracks like Slaves To The Kingdom Of Fear drizzles a groove metal precision onto a frantic bedrock of manic riffing to best display the technical potential of As You Drown. Rabid Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing shows these complex outbursts too with infectious guitar riffs demonstrating what the four-piece can do with an already hard-hitting punch-up of furious DM.
But for all the tight musicianship, unforgiving speed and ravaging gutturals, the five-piece don’t venture much further beyond that and in truth it’s The Nothing and Bleeding Structure that lack a feeling in them at all. Despite this, hardened fans of the genre will still appreciate its singular goal – to cause as much sonic disruption as possible through a vortex of whirling riffs and thumping machine-gun-percussion.
Rat King won’t just leave you chewing on iron nails, it’ll have you eating the cardboard box they came in too.