Home Gigs Gig Review : King Kraken with support from Feral Sun and This House We Built The Patriot, Crumlin

Gig Review : King Kraken with support from Feral Sun and This House We Built The Patriot, Crumlin

18 min read
Comments Off on Gig Review : King Kraken with support from Feral Sun and This House We Built The Patriot, Crumlin

Review by Gary Spiller for MPM

Our good friend Ceri Davies, of Rock & Roll Circus and Grumpy Clown Events high repute, knows a thing or five about quality grassroots’ rocking.

With nigh on a decade of experience of promoting shows up and down the Welsh Valleys, as well as recently hitting Edinburgh of all places, he’s worked with a vast array of bands over the years including the likes of Those Damn Crows, Massive Wagons, and Scarlet Rebels.

This evening in conjunction with The Patriot venue just north of Newport, another fine Welsh reputation, we’ve got hard rock diversity in terms of geography and style. Local heroes King Kraken, who are going great guns, have, in support, London’s Feral Sun and This House We Built. The latter pounding southwards from their Scarborough hideout to open up affairs.

Although somewhat blighted by an indifferent sound when we first encountered This House We Built this Yorkshire-based melodious four-piece genuinely impressed and left us wanting more. Some two months on from that set at Dorset’s Love Rocks we get to enjoy a most welcome second helping.

We gain further insight to this outfit’s mellifluous craft with this evening’s set serving up a couple of extra tracks in addition to the seven tracks aired in back in June on the south coast. Levels of impression are suitably further increased with the hard rocking of ‘Back In The Ring’ and ‘There She Stands’ with its country fringes being delivered in the latter stages of their near 50 minutes upon The Patriot’s stage.

The first five tracks replicate Love Rocks with debut single, and the opening track of their eponymous album, ‘Fairweather Friend’ wondrously phased and warping into another aural dimension. Frontman Scott Wardell playfully ‘shoots’ one of the photographers in the pit whilst Wayne Dowkes’ bass is that low-slung it threatens to head-off downstairs. The snarling drawl leads into the honey sweet AOR of latest single ‘Nobody’s Fool’, following the running order of the album coincidentally.

Written about, and dedicated to, Scott’s gran, who passed with dementia, the tender strains of ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ caress the approaching nightfall. Freeway driving at its very best. With a hooky chorus and soulful vocals crackling with raw emotion ‘We Are, We Are’ is a surefire winner in my book. At Love Rocks I’d noted a tug towards fellow Scarborough band Little Angels, an observation that holds firm upon this second witnessing.

The highly polished ‘Walk The Line’ shines brightly before we take a ride down a river of bourbon in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ replete with a dose of fine southern-fuelled slide. “A song about drinking!” notes Scott before quipping “Every band needs one!”

The set is tidily book-ended, brandishing neat symmetry, with ‘My Old Friend’ the closing track of the long-player finishing off a noteworthy performance. In a similar vein from which the likes of Blackberry Smoke and Black Stone Cherry have been hewn it ensures a triumphant rock n’ roll crescendo. The crowd singalong seemingly impressed, surely a return to these parts is guaranteed.

Feral Sun, the second band of this evening’s triple serving, are an intriguing outfit. Completely new to myself, along with a good percentage of The Patriot, they burn through an eleven track which melds the bulk of their 2014 debut release ‘Evacuation’ with a handful of newer numbers. Somewhat rigid, at first, to their credit the band shake off the ferrous oxide and by the end they’re into their groove.

Reading their Linkedin (!!) profile following the release of ‘Evacuation’ and supporting the likes of Skindred and Puddle of Mudd the band hit the metaphorical buffers losing two members. Regrouping they’re back, emerging from lockdown with a potential EP in the offing, presumably comprising the newer tracks on offer this evening.

The likes of 2021 single the utter behemothic ‘Stand Up’ and 2022’s melancholic Metallica-esque ‘Save Yourself’ nestle comfortably, much like the beans of a well-blended smooth coffee, with the older tracks like the untamed stampede of set opening ‘Take This Away’ and artillery barrage of oblivion tones in ‘Better Than You Know’.

A cataclysm is torn asunder in a raging tempest (is there any other?) by ‘Find A Way’ whilst the following track ‘Breathe’ is a polar opposite. Dedicated to the memory of a close family member it’s a poignant moment, one which could live easily alongside Alter Bridge or Stone Sour, that exposes the band’s pure sensitivities.

Titular track ‘Evacuate’ tumbles through the cascading rapids in a plundering demonic blast. Frontman Mick Burns yells “Fuck yeah!” ushering in a stormy outro. A system reboot is required in many quarters following the unlit marauding of the uncompromising metalliferous ‘Blame’. Any doubt regarding this quartet? Then look no further to have them instantly dispelled with a majestic flourish.

As we head towards the end a hat-trick winched off ‘Evacuate’ cranks proceedings towards a punchy finale. The doom-laden basement dweller that is ‘Long Road’ smashes through its entrapment before the catacombs are well and truly rattled by the Orange Goblin riffage of ‘Into Pieces’.

Closing with ‘Falling’ Feral Sun inadvertently carbon-copy THWB by ending with the closing track of their debut long-player. It’s a faster, thrashier number, that sees Burns ditch his guitar for an impassioned crescendo. Ears and attentions have been firmly grabbed, a band to look out for no doubt of it.

Having released ‘MCLXXX’, one of the finest releases of 2023 in the humblest of my opinions, at the tail-end of this year’s January the Welsh metallic monsters King Kraken continue to go from monstrous strength to strength. Their hard-edged tentacles spread across the lands in a green-hued horror-drenched haze.

Formed in the autumn of 2018 quite by chance I caught this industrial strength quintet opening up for Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters over at Abertillary’s Dolls House as that year came to an end. So began a journey of quite epic proportions and countless miles for this ever-friendly outfit. A third place, in Sheffield, at HRH’s ‘Battle Of The Bands’ provided a springboard which has been firmly utilised to good effect. A couple of EP’s followed (2019’s self-titled release and the following year’s ‘Chaos Engine’) providing a couple of tracks for the breakthrough album.

Steeped in the tallest of nautical yarns, favoured of ale-fuelled fireside storytelling and rollickingly rumbustious shanties, the Kraken is hungry and tonight the monster will dine upon the finest of darkened riffs, rhythms, and rage. Lobbing in the volcanic single only release ‘War Machine’ along with tracks from those EP’s King Kraken swerve away from any outside temptations. It’s pure, 100% Kraken on offer here tonight.

Striding proudly forth to an imperious intro tape King Kraken land with a sizeable quake; seismic waves radiate out from the epicentre. Regal vocalist Mark Donoghue surveys the scene, takes a puff on his vape before Karl Meyer’s fearsome bass rumbles into life. Statuesque, Mark looks out as the rest of the band begin to roar. There’s a scene of trademark green out front, even his mic cover has succumbed to the terror.

A resonating auricular 1-2-3 erupts with the opening three tracks from ‘MCLXXX’ pulverising all in the vicinity. The underworldly ‘Devil’s Night’ is swiftly followed up by the strongarm attitude of ‘Bastard Liar’. Adam Healey’s howling solo is in stark contrast to the black as the darkest night riffs and rhythms laid down by his compatriots. Pete Rose, beaming over stage left, works his six strings with a furnace-like fury whilst Karl combines in construction (or is that wondrous destruction?) of the low-end with his partner-in-crime Richard Mears lurking behind his sizeable percussive kit.

Crowd favourite and a clear signature track ‘Green Terror’ wraps up a Kraken hat-trick in bone-crunching fashion with the faithful paying fervid homage. The Patriot detonates with its sonic psych whilst Pete is ‘fed’ some water, by the hand of Mark, during Adam’s blistering fretwork.

The respect between the bands is palpable with Mark paying due respect to both their supporting acts and being repaid with THWB’s Scott giving acclaim from the crowd “Let’s here it for King Kraken!”

The steel-hard Sabbath edges of ‘Haddonfield ’78’, melded with a liberal sprinkling of punctuating Orange Goblin, are dedicated to Neil. The juggernaut rolls into the 110% concentrate of fury that bears the moniker ‘Veins’ before we divert into the realms of the EP’s. Both of which are represented with ‘Under The Sun’ and ‘The Grey’ taking deserved centre stage.

If you’ve got an album as good as ‘MCLXXX’ there’s no reason, other than constraints of stage time, to not play it in its entirety. The noble art of compiling an album is one, by and large, lost on a generation who derive their musical delectations from streaming services. However, there remains a good number of us who appreciate this and it would appear that the five hard-grafting components of King Kraken are amongst these ranks. The five tracks of what is effectively side two of the album are given the live treatment in strict defined order. Major kudos goes out!

The devil’s herd snorts fire as the manic angst of ‘Man Made Monster’ is unleashed. Walls and ramparts alike crumble to ‘Walls Of Jericho’. Respect is duly paid to the 19 souls wrongly hanged in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 with the abyssal ‘Proctor’s Ledge’; Mark growling “Now the devil gets his daughter back.”

The V8 of ‘Chaos Engine’ hits maximum revs before feeding into the warping and dimension bending of the outright headbanger ‘Castle Of Bone’. Full disintegration is completed with a baker’s dozen plus one rounded off with closing number ‘Freak’ deftly applying the finishing touches. The Kraken has fed and full can now retire to its inky lair in the nautical depths confident of a masterful task employed.

Photography by Kelly Spiller for MPM

Load More Related Articles
Load More By admin
Load More In Gigs
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Album Review : The Commoners : Restless

Previously unknown to me, The Commoners could be described as a 'Southern Blues Rock' band…