The Slayerking – Sanatana Dharma (Finisterian Dead End)

Sunday, 31st January 2016
Rating: 7/10

The side outlet for Nightfall’s Efthimis K, The Slayerking (never a bad thing to have another permutation of the “Slayer” name) sees the Greek metal veteran step away from his main outfit for something more stripped-down, and dark, which appears to be the operative term here. Nightfall, in the grand Greek metal scheme of things, has always played third fiddle to Rotting Christ and Septicflesh, and are far more of an acquired taste. It appears the same rings true for The Slayerking, whose Sanatana Dharma debut does a lot of middling alt-dark rock/metal dancing.

Mr. K’s voice is the most obvious stumbling block here. He has some very harsh pronunciation of certain words, many of which are difficult to mask, most notably on lead cut “She is My Lazarus.” Beyond that, his nasally delivery combined with some odd cadences (one would love to see how he maps out vocals) give a handful of cuts here a disjointed, but uneasy feeling. But then again, there’s a certain cache to these songs. “Black Mother of the Lord of Light” hunkers down in the brooding, oppressive sphere of mid-era Paradise Lost; “The Man That Never Was,” which in addition to having an excellent song title, emerges as the album’s best cut, with The Slayerking grappling with slow, churning doom.

Following the similar thread most Greek bands do (i.e. you’re not going to find much else that sounds like this), The Slayerking have ventured into the dank, dark metal field armed with an array of off-kilter ideas, some of which may not resonate as well as they’d hope. If anything else, it’s another one of those side jaunts that cleans out the ‘ole creative gutters before getting back to business as usual.

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