Drinking beer, headbanging and loss of hearing. These are things that come to mind when listening to Thy Kingdom Slum’s A History Of Dissent, the debut EP released on February 18th, 2018. Though these fine gents bring nothing new to the large table of Heavy Metal, their hard-hitting debut is a powerful statement that walks the line between your traditional, fast-paced Thrash Metal and the slower, riff-oriented Doom Metal. If you’re a fan of either of these genres, or you just like sweating from your ears, this album will tickle you in the right way.
First on the EP is “Reign/Blacks Flags,” a song that utilizes the galloping rhythm, popularized by bands such as Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden. This first track is a strong way to start an album. Though it lacks any innovation that will make it a landmark in metal, Michael Edwards and his roaring voice show us that he is not here to mess around. Plus, the somewhat psychedelic intro gives the impression that Thy Kingdom Slum may have more to offer than headbanging madness. The second, more in your face track, is “Master Plan.” This song is headbang galore; it’s fast, it’s mean, and it’s violent. The twin guitar skills of Trevor De Block on lead and Chris Mayville on rhythm sine brightly. Also worth mentioning, Brandon Gourley on drums really let’s loose. I hope he has insurance on that studio kit because he hits hard and he hits fast. His tightness with bass player Ray Solomon is what makes this song so heavy.
The third song is the strangely titled track, “5even.” I’m still unsure how to pronounce it, but that’s not important. What is important is the music. This song is slower than the other tracks, but the heavy riffage is still there. More on the Doom side of the metal border, I feel as if this track is an extension of the first one. It uses the same galloping rhythm, which is not a bad thing, but it does get repetitive after a while.
The fourth track is entitled “Not Your Enemy” and is my favourite on this album. It starts off strong with some wizard type guitar licks and never let down. This is the song I’d want played if ever I had to ride into battle with an army of long-haired degenerates. Trevor, the Block’s backing vocals, shook me up in this one. He seems to dive deep into his soul to pull out a voice filled with aggression and hate, which is fitting for this revolutionary type song.
Finally, the fifth and final track “Presence of Mind.” The riff on this track is my favourite. Yes, I know I had said that track four was my favourite song, BUT this riff is something else. If this riff doesn’t get you going, I’m not sure what will. And its smooth transition into a solo really shows that Chris Mayville knows exactly what he’s doing with that guitar.
This album might not be the newest thing, but I don’t think that was what these guys were going for. It has its highs and lows, but overall, I would recommend this album to whoever wants to add a strong debut to their metal collection. I’m excited to see what direction these guys will take their music. Keep an eye on Slum World Productions for new music. Here’s to you, Thy Kingdom Slum. Keep doing what you do best.
Written by Johnathan Robinson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy