Simmered in a cauldron of Appalachian doom and sordid, straight-faced Americana, King Giant appeal to deep intestinal intuitions. Dismal Hollow is an effortless listen, a front-to-back rager and a swig of searing, satisfying songwriting. Meticulous musicianship is married to perfectly coarse, whiskey scarred vocals that slake a desperate, heretofore unknown thirst.
King Giant traverse a well worn musical landscape, littered with bands that have sewn Southern sensibilities onto Sabbath's legacy. This isn't my usual fare, but I find Dismal Hollow colossally addictive. Solid riffs stomp, romp and swing with snappy melodies and hard-bitten blues. Wicked, writhing solos inject exuberant accents into the otherwise somber proceedings. Melancholic leads and flourishes add an enticing sheen to compositional lulls. All of King Giant's substantial creative forces are focused on songcraft; the results are utterly captivating.
A great deal of Dismal Hollow's allure is owed to Dave Hammerly's vocals. Technically, this is clean singing; his voice is actually anything but. These brash, filthy bellows recall Glenn Danzig's style and display a distinct charisma. Each track tells a particular story, conveyed with bleak solemnity and tinged with ravenous rage. Dismal Hollow tells tales of bootlegging, abject alcoholism and spousal abuse with murderous retribution. This is real life.
Everything about Dismal Hollow resonates in my mind and memory. I've been frequently compelled to crank this on the stereo and sing along. Whatever your musical predilections and depravities might be, King Giant are worth a look. “Demon whiskey speaks for me.”
Dismal Hollow is out on January 31st, a split release between the band's own Graveyard Hill Records and The Path Less Traveled Records. You can pre-order it here.
You can also check out the video for the first track on the album, "Appomattox," below. Expect Civil War by way of zombie apocalypse awesomeness: