King Hiss – Sadlands

coverWith last month’s Rock Tribune Belgian stoner special, I was reminded of this piece I wrote last year  about the exquisite debut album of West-Flemish stoner rockers King Hiss. Of course they play lots of concerts all over Flanders, but with them supporting Clutch in Torhout next week, this might be a nice opportunity to provide you with the English version of the article you can find right here in its original dutch form. 

My introduction to King Hiss came when they started the Graspop sunday of 2013. The potential sure was undeniable. They showed presence and the quality of their material was more than alright. Back then they had already released a seven song EP and now the stoner metal four piece have released their first full album ‘Sadlands’.

Waking you up after a tough night, that’s what opening track La Haine (which means “hatred” in French) succeeds in without any problem. Those first few songs form some sort of metaphorical sledgehammer that takes you back to good old Kyuss and Corrosion Of Conformity. Thanks to singer Jan Coudron’s high pitched yet powerful vocals, the band still succeeds in creating a typical sound of their own.

Slowly but steadily, King Hiss blows you away. Guitarist Joost Noyelle gets some space to perform some solo action as well. The following Guilty Pleasures isn’t really what it’s cracked up to be: the pleasure part at least is true: headbang approved guitar riffs, semi-acoustical intermediate piece after which the madness erupts to your face. Nothing to be ashamed of. And neither is the similar Temple Of The Eye.

Time for some intrumental action. Weight Of A Tombstone may lack vocals, it still succeeds at capturing and keeping the attention, ecpecially thanks to the many changes of pace. The closing title track (i.e. Sadlands) gets started with a riff that reminds me of Iron Maiden intrumental Transylvania. Very soon Coudron picks in with his unique vocal sound. The band blows all the riffs they had left through the speakers, not fearing the occasional pull up in speed. Keeping the expression “always leave your crowd hungry” in mind, the song – and thusly the album – comes to an abrupt end. And I’m definitely still hungry.

It’s not easy picking some highlights, as the record turned out to be very well-balanced. Nothing negative here, because they keep a high level throughout the entire album. King Hiss sounds very typical like some of stoner’s greats without ever turning to some weak copy.

Clutch + King Hiss at Club de B, Torhout. More info to be found here.


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