King 810 is a band that has made a career out of unpredictability. Midwest Monsters was monstrously heavy from start to finish. Their major label debut Memoirs Of A Murderer took their sound into new directions, such as on the surrealist “Eyes” and the outlaw country stylings of “Devil Don’t Cry”. They even collaborated with Detroit rapper Trick Trick on a mixtape (Trick Trick also appears on La Petit Mort, on “War Zone”). Throughout it all, King 810 have risen from regional favorites to one of the most well-known underground metal bands. La Petit Mort has been one of the most anticipated albums of 2016. Does it deliver?
For the most part, yes. Like their previous album, there are many disparate musical directions, but King 810 has shown some exponential growth in the songwriting department. They are still fully capable of unleashing the anger that they are known for, such as on “Alpha And Omega”. David Gunn (vocalist) can seemingly let the anger course through his veins like the heavy metals (no pun intended) coursing through the Flint, Michigan drinking water pipes. He is a versatile frontman with a clearly enunciated voice, whether screaming, singing, or simply talking in a spoken word style. On the title track, Gunn says that he was born to die in Flint. It is clear that King 810 still have their undying allegiance to the Vehicle City.
La Petit Mort isn’t as heavy an album as their previous work, however. Alpha And Omega, Give My People Back, and Vendettas are the only consistently heavy songs. The rest of the album oscillates from melodic and dramatic, to eerie and understated. Black Swan is hauntingly operatic, in a way reminiscent of Type O Negative. Life’s Not Enough and Me & Maxine have some jazz-influenced horns and drumming. There are plenty of electronic samples and flourishes, and there seems to be more of an overall emphasis on songwriting than on previous albums. The non metal songs on Memoirs Of A Murderer at times felt forced and out of place, but on La Petit Mort they fit right in, again which is due to better overall songwriting, and better album sequencing.
La Petit Mort may not rely on screaming and severely downtuned metal riffs to get its point across, but at this point it doesn’t need to. King 810 have shown that they are a diverse band, and they have made an album that is interesting, original, and which remains thematically true to their roots.