Over the last 5 years, there hasn’t been many bands in the metal scene to remain as active as the growing juggernaut that is Fit For A King.
With this fifth release, the band brings all of their strengths to the front and showcase their heaviest work yet.
As is the case with every album the band has put out since signing with Solid State Records, the record boasts of a crisp and clean production that is sought for by many, but in one way or another, too few achieve.
The first track, “Engraved” gives us some of the best that Dark Skies has to offer. Tempo changes and breaks between verses and choruses while they alternate between clean vocals and harsh screams keep the sound from being anything but repetitive.
“The Price of Agony” is one of the best songs on the album because of their ability to mix melodic lead guitars with fast paced thrash inspired riffs. The song clearly speaks of the current political and social climate with the cleanly sung chorus, “Every day we’re getting colder. Our divide is growing further and further. The hands of time are moving faster. When will we stop paying the price of agony.”
“Backbreaker” and “Anthem of the Defeated” are supremely heavy and short tracks. However despite how heavy they are, the running of them back to back muddies the middle section of the album; although the latter has a pretty nasty guitar solo that should be noted.
“When Everything Means Nothing” is anything but forgettable. Kicking off with a sadder sound infused with keyboards dripped in reverb, bassist Ryan O’Leary sings “Am I supposed to be like everybody else? A prisoner of my own mind, should I give up?” The track also features the most memorable and catchy chorus on the entire LP.
“Debts of the Soul” is a near trippy song with atmospheric sound effects surrounding darkly sung vocals before exploding into an epic conclusion.
The album ends with a pleading request of not being forgotten in “Oblivion” and speaking for the album, it surely won’t. Dark Skies is a brutal album and the band’s heaviest work to date. There are a few tracks that are simply put, tremendous. The only take-away is that they rely on breakdowns too often sometimes.
Fit For A King continues to carve out a piece of metal history for themselves with this impressive album because they really did cover all the bases of what a metal album can bring: brutally heavy, melodic, thrashy, emotional lyrics that range across many topics, and two vocalists who compliment each other endlessly. Dark Skies will be playing in many playlists and shuffles with good reason.