Review – King 810 at Dryden Street Social, 8th December 2018

with Seven Hells

Reviewed by Kashif Hussain

Controversial metal band and Golden God nominees King 810 stopped over in Leicester for the first time as part of their UK headline tour, just after supporting Emmure on tour across the states.

London group Puppy were originally intended as main support throughout the duration of the tour but unfortunately had to pull out due to health-related concerns, meaning the night ended relatively early.

Before the headliners stepped on stage, the crowd was welcomed by local group Seven Hells, who made a name for themselves earlier this year as the winners of Leicester’s Metal 2 The Masses competition, which earned them a slot at the prestigious Bloodstock Open Air festival. While the crowd was certainly pleased by their thrash metal influenced riffing and hardore-esque breakdowns, the venue’s sound was strangely murky, drowning out most vocals and guitars behind a wall of bass. Regardless, the crowd still had plenty of energy even if they could hardly hear most of the band members.

Seven Hells Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Hailing from the deprived and destitute city of Flint in Michigan, famous for high crime rates and generally being a bit of a sh*thole, King 810 were up next. The band’s members are no strangers to gang violence, which is often the basis for their nihilistic and pessimistic lyrics.

King 810 Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Lyricist and MMA fighter David Gunn’s spoken word section at certain points of their set felt equally seething and sorrowful. This was evident when they opened with the recent single Heartbeats, which is kind of like an angrier Korn if such a thing were possible. While he and bassist Eugene Gill frequently bounced from one end of the stage to the other, the guitarist & drummer remained eerily still while balaclavas covered their faces.

Unfortunately, the sound was still obscured by the obnoxious levels of bass that drowned out most of the quieter, more intimate moments. Even hardhitting tracks like Alpha & Omega and Vendettas sounded washed out, but despite this the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves, even chanting the band’s name between songs.

King 810 Photo: Kevin Gaughan

King 810’s next album, Suicide King, is set for release on January 25.

I’ve since been informed that King 810 brought along their own equipment and engineer, meaning the sound was entirely their responsibility and not the venue’s. Apparently they like to turn up the bass at their shows, and it is common for touring engineers to set the mix higher than what in-house engineers usually set it at.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of King 810 performing at this gig.