There is a certain payoff for following a band from their beginnings. More often than not, they might crumble right in front of you, but occasionally you get to watch a band blossom and grow and that is a special thing. That’s how following LICH KING has been for me. From their beginnings as an old school 80s Thrash band clawing at their own boundaries, its wonderful to be able to compare how far they have come when comparing it to their third album, “World Gone Dead”.
The band has matured by leaps and bounds and now has rooted their own distinct style down with this album. It’s more cohesive and more serious than their previous efforts, although its obvious that their tongue and cheek lyrical content makes its appearances like on the “Robocop” referencing track “ED-209”, but the band just sounds tighter than they have ever before. They don’t change their style so much – it’s still pure 80s Bay Area Thrash right down to the awesome cover art – its just tighter and more cohesive.
Of course, if you have read my more than praising reviews of their first two albums, the band has always been fun and catchy song writers and players. They shred through great riffs, solos, drum fills, and bass work all the while as the lead vocalist belts out Punk influenced rants but it was always the production that hurt them. Luckily, “World Gone Dead” is the first album of theirs that actually has a good production. We can actually hear the bass drum now and the mix is insanely better. The vocals don’t drown the rest out and the riffs and leads layer themselves and never fall out of listening range. This is the icing on the cake that truly proves that LICH KING has what it takes to match Thrash with the big boys of the genre.
“World Gone Dead” is simply the best thing LICH KING has put out. Slightly different than their two previous efforts, its more serious and cohesive, but the band never loses their tight playing or sense of fun that make them a great listen. The heads or heels better production doesn’t hurt either. If you are a fan of Thrash than this is a band to look out for.
Songs to check out: “ED-209”, “A Storm Of Swords”, “Lich King III (World Gone Dead)”.
(Online 80, 2010)