Do you like chugs, breakdowns, raw vocals, and screaming woo during breakdowns? Well if you answered yes to any of the above questions, Fit For A King's Deathgrip is one that you should definitely check out. The four piece Texas metalcore outfit has returned with their follow up to the 2014 release Slave to Nothing and somehow the band managed to make their sound much, much heavier. Within Deathgrip, Fit For A King touches on the topic of death and how it affects our daily lives as well as the Rwandan Genocide and ISIS. The boys in Fit For A King really dug deep with this release finding the perfect balance of a much more evolved style of their music with their metalcore roots.
"The End's Beginning" kicks Deathgrip off right with the dropped tuned, chug friendly breakdown that Fit For A King fans have grown accustomed to over the years and this 48 second little intro shows you immediately that they mean business with this record. Following "The End's Beginning" is "Pissed Off." "Pissed Off" was the first single released by the band back in August and the title speaks can give you a pretty good idea of the texture the song has. Vocalist Ryan Kirby reaches deep from the depths of Hell to summon the antichrist with this nonstop moshpit of a song. "Pissed Off" is the track that is in reference to ISIS and their attack on the Bataclan in France. While this attack occurred, the band was overseas touring Europe which is where Deathgrip was created.
This record as a whole is a major step up from their previous releases due to the fact that guitarist Bobby Lynge put a more technical side to this new record. Although Fit For A King is known for being the band with the earth shattering breakdowns, some may not like the "breakdown after breakdown" style of metalcore. "Shadows and Echoes" is a perfect example of that. The opening riff is much more than a usual metalcore chug with the occasional octave placed here and there. The opening riff is something so interesting to hear from Fit For A King and its honestly a nice breath of fresh air to hear the band prove that they can do whatever they want and can still make it their own.
The highlight of Deathgrip is on the back end of the album titled "Stacking Bodies." The beginning of this track is one of those scenarios where you have to rewind the intro and just make a cringy face due to the demonic vocal layering. Levi Benton of Miss May I is featured on the track on a riff that brings me back to when Miss May I put out Apologies Are For The Weak back in 2009 and boy was that nostalgic. The dual vocals of Benton and Kirby are such a heavy, different combo that makes the track so diverse and different everything that Fit For A King has in their ammunition.
All in all Deathgrip is a solid release. It's the same style of music that Fit For A King has been writing for half of a decade now but better. The breakdowns, the riffs, the drumming, the clean vocals to the entire feel of the whole record is a great example of how metalcore is still alive and well in 2016. Though there are a few less surprises than anticipated with the album there are still some moments that are unexpected and makes it a record that you can find yourself listening to more than once.
Fit For A King is currently out on the Aggressive Tour in support of Beartooth and alongside Every Time I Die and Old Wounds.