Metalcore is the gift that keeps on giving, especially in a climate when everyone has nothing but time on their hands to create new content. Adding to that list of new material to check out are Texas’ Fit For a King with their highly anticipated sixth full-length album The Path released on Friday, September 18, 2020 via Solid State Records.
With so many bands in an already saturated genre Metalcore it is sometimes hard to differentiate who is who. However, what Fit For a King does so beautifully is create music that is both lyrically inimitable along with a sound that is massive, and The Path is an extension of that. Looking back, their epic 2018 album Dark Skies helped catapult the band’s success, having been streamed over 50 million times and resulting in over two million Spotify listeners.
Despite the obvious positive feedback, Fit For a King wanted to break away from Metalcore norms and deliver a heightened sound with album number six. That all in mind, The Path is by far, much bigger and bolder than their previous work. Similar to Dark Skies, The Path was produced by WZRD BLD, aka Drew Fulk who has also worked with genre favorites like Dance Gavin Dance, Motionless In White, and Bad Wolves.
Kicking off with “The Face of Hate,” Vocalist Ryan Kirby’s guttural screams paired with Daniel Gailey and Bobby Lynge’s blaring guitars conjure an eerily sinister atmosphere. Complimenting them, Drummer Jared Easterling’s beats layered with Ryan O’Leary’s thudding basslines make you feel the song deep in your chest adding to the immersion. This is before “Breaking the Mirror” speaks to your inner demons. It is a reflection that holds all of your failures and past trauma, literally shattering them, putting an end to your misery. It also gives you a taste of O’Leary’s clean vocals which provide a softer touch amidst the madness.
Then there is “Annihilation” which comes smashing in with all of the determination they could muster. Repeating the same mantra, “rebuild, redemption, welcome annihilation,” drilling into your head the notion of tearing down what holds your back, thus keeping you from moving forward. Then the title-track, “The Path,” hits with a slow chugging riff that emphasizes the driving force behind the album further. In enough words, that force is the feeling of being dragged through life’s ups and down, the hardships and pit-falls that plague you , but finding the courage to pull yourself out.
Keeping that momentum, “Prophet” feels like a broken cry for help, the kind that hits when you a re at your wits end. Here the chorus cries out, “Prophet, what are your words for me? Savior, am I too blind to see? If you can create all of the stars, Then why can’t you mend a broken heart?,” and it is a feeling of hopelessness that many of us can relate with. This as while “Locked (In My Head)” offers a melodic story that speaks to the personal war between being locked inside your own mind and the freedom of breaking out to find happiness.
Changing things up a little, “God Of Fire” features the deliciously wicked vocals of Ryo Kinoshita from Crystal Lake. A synth-heavy Industrial nightmare in the best way, it combines two different approaches to create a chaotic sound that works. Following, “Stockholm” could not come at a better time with the presidential election rapidly approaching. A powerful truck, it alludes to the Stockholm Syndrome that possesses the public when it comes to becoming bound to politicians while being simultaneously exploited by the same elected officials. Slowing things down, “Louder Voice” comes in with soft piano intro before “Vendetta” takes you back to the band’s roots in the final moments of the album.
Overall, The Path gives you a look at the heavier side of the band with grittier solos and catchy choruses, but also solidifies these the music will stay with you long after the last track ends. It is victorious, speaking to all of the darkness within and offering a beacon of light for Fit For a Kings fans new and old. A soundtrack of hope in these trying times, Cryptic Rock gives The Path 4 out of 5 stars.