I am a huge fan of metal. Whether it’s the thrashing sounds of Slayer, the melodic sounds of Iron Maiden, or even the over the top screaming of Killswitch Engage, I can pretty much get into anything if I give it a chance. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few sub genres in the metal world I can’t stand, Cookie Monster metal being the biggest culprit. Sorry, but if I can imagine a puppet singing for your band then I don’t like you, that’s just how I am. This isn’t about what I hate in the metal field though, this is about what I like. My personal favorite metal acts tend to be in the vein of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, etc. I like my metal to have a prominent singer with no screaming involved. I can tolerate screaming mind you, but if a singer can just sing without yelling it makes me happier.
That brings me to the album I shall be talking about today, which is “Burn the Serum” by L.A. based band Kyng. To be fully honest, I had never heard of Kyng before I wrote this review. I was literally looking through the new releases for today to see what I could find, and I saw the cover of this album and instantly went “well, that’s pretty badass.” I mean, look at the thing; a skeleton, with the arms of an octopus, sinking a ship in a sea of fire. Yeah, it screams metal from the get go. Then my judgmental side kicked in almost immediately. “Yep, this will be another band with a screaming singer and I’ll turn it off after one or two songs.” Most metal bands with a screamer tend to have some pretty bad ass artwork for their albums, so I have become a cynic. Boy was I wrong.
I throw on the first track, aptly titled “Burn the Serum”, and was I in for a shock. It sounded nothing like what I expected. The playing was metal but not a fast paced metal, very much in the vein of old school early metal. I was instantly intrigued and told myself, “Ok this has to be a trick. Soon the singer will start singing and will be screaming left and right.” The singer started singing soon after that and when I say singing, I mean actual singing, no screaming whatsoever. I am happy metal fan right now.
The entire album is completely in vein with classic metal and hard rock. It’s laced with great guitar hooks, pounding drums, and a singing style I can easily get behind. What impresses me the most about this band is the fact it’s a trio. Yes, a trio metal band. Something you hardly ever see, and man does it sound good. It’s almost refreshing listening to this band. I say almost though because there are others out there with a similar sound going on, such as the band Ghost or here in the states they are known as Ghost B.C., being the one to come immediately to mind.
“Burn the Serum” itself is a fantastic album. Like I stated earlier, it’s full of everything I really like about old school metal and classic rock. The stands out tracks for me are the songs “Burn the Serum” and “Land of the Pigs.” I found myself listening to them several times throughout the day and I just enjoy the hell out of them. The album does feel “samey” in parts, but this is a very minor complaint. One real oddity on the album that took me by surprise is the very last song “Paper Heart Rose.” When I first heard it I thought I was listening to a differently album completely. It’s a slow, acoustic song that sounds almost Lynyrd Skynyrd like. Surprisingly though I like it. I like it a lot actually.
I highly recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of classic metal or hard rock. It’s a great listen and definitely worth a chance. If you like it let me know in the comments below! Now if you will excuse me, I just found “Joe’s Garage” on vinyl so I must give it a listen.
Get it on iTunes: Burn the Serum – Kyng
Get it on Amazon: Burn the Serum