Gonna make you stronger, bigger, faster
-- King's Rage --
Review written by Stijn "Metal Shredder" Daneels.
[METAL SHREDDER REPORTING]
A couple of years ago King’s Rage shared with us their single “No Pain No Gain” which we also featured on our (currently) defunct radio show Belgian Metal Shredder On Air. Now the band is getting ready to release a new EP and once again they were nice enough to share with us the new material before its worldwide release.
“Stronger” is the second EP from the Belgian hard rock band King’s Rage and is once again an independent release. The EP races out of its tracks with the high-octane beats of “Death Machine,” a tune with a huge power metal vibe and then moves on to the title track, a very uplifting tune that reminded me of the aforementioned “No Pain No Gain” single. A great workout tune with marching rhythms, adrenaline-fueled guitars and catchy vocals.
Things slow down a little and get more intimate with “Before You Go,” its bass lines provide a soothing feel while the other instruments build up to the powerful chorus, all narrated by very emotional singing. And the beautiful guitar solos serve as one big icing on the cake. Then we get a fast and rough stoner tune in the form of “Rock n’ Roll Chick” with riffs that roam through the speakers as if a gang of bikers are ready to ride out to the world.
Then comes the EP’s fifth track, “Sacrifice” a guitar-heavy tune with a sweet piano & guitar interlude. The “Stronger” EP’s ends with its heaviest song, “Godspeed,” a tune strung together with galloping drums and several awesome guitar solos. And as an extra King’s Rage included 2 radio edit versions of the earlier “Death Machine” and “Before You Go” singles.
Personally, I’d describe King’s Rage style as a mixture of stoner rock & heavy metal and their style makes me think of 2000s metal acts like Five Finger Death Punch, Linkin Park and Trapt. Compared to their earlier work, the 2019 EP “I Need All The Time,” King’s Rage’s sound is now slightly more heavy metal and less stoner rock oriented and certainly better produced. Also the band has put more emphasis on guitar solos and made the vocals more prominent. These epic solos and vigorous vocals are certainly two of King’s Rage’s major strengths so I’m glad they’ve further built on that in “Stronger.” They also added some more variety to their work with “Before You Go” being a wholly different beast compared to what King’s Rage has written thus far and I hope to hear more of that stuff as well.
The artwork of “Stronger” features the fiery golden gaze of a black lion with black eagle wings on both sides of its head and swords thrusting out from all over its regal face. I love lions, I love eagles, I love swords and I love the combination of black and gold colors. So yeah, I love this artwork a lot! It’s a type of logo that would be very suitable for an MMA or pro wrestling promotion or clothing line. The main theme of “Stronger” and basically King’s Rage’s material in general is about standing strong and taking your life into your own hands. No matter if it’s for doing a heavy workout in the gym, getting through relationship problems or seducing someone you want to be as your boy/girlfriend.
[SHARPEST SHREDS & BLUNTEST BLADES]
Aside from “Death Machine” being a strong opener my top favorites on this “Stronger” EP are the title track, which is one epic tune that would be perfectly suitable for a Rocky-styled training montage. Also the succeeding track, “Before You Go” really got into me, a ballad full of emotion and tragedy and finally I love the piano & guitar tandem power of “Sacrifice.” What I don’t like about this EP? Well, if a band debuts with an EP I really like it to have them follow it up with a full-length. It’s too bad that King’s Rage didn’t pull that off with “Stronger,” because I felt the material on this release to be highly enjoyable and it made me hungry for more. At least they did include 2 radio edit versions of the main singles of “Stronger” to make the EP a bit longer.
8 Tapouts out of 10. King’s Rage’s second EP is a delicious protein shake of stoner rock & heavy metal full of high-octane guitar solos & commanding vocals and topped off with some 2000s metal vibes. So go to your local gym, put this on and pump that iron!