This is a review of "Cannibals With Cutlery" recorded by To Kill A King. The review was written by Katriona Gilmour in 2013.
I have to admit I did a little 'Whoop' with delight, when the long awaited debut album from To Kill A King, graced my inbox. Having been a fan for the best part of two years, introduced them to friends and travelled over 200 miles to see a rather special live performance (http://www.leedsmusicscene.net/article/16831). So I could not be happier to see a full length album.
What 'Cannibals With Cutlery' delivers, is a showcase of their astounding talent and a selection of 13 tracks, which takes you on an observational journey, each special in its own right. They sing about a tortured world of love and life, elation and depression, addiction and desperation. Songs we can all connect with. However dark it sounds, they have the ability, through the poetic nature of their lyricism and delicious harmonies, to turn every story into something truly beautiful, leaving you warmer for the experience.
Initially born out of the Leeds music scene, To Kill A King are five guys who deliver music with an intensity and raw emotion, gritty reflections on today's society. I will not insult or tarnish their reputation by referring to other 'alternative-folk' lead music, as the diversity of To Kill A Kings' offering, spans far beyond the capability of the bands gone before. But, there are certain elements that have striking similarity in the musical quality, to another favourite of mine, Tall Ships.
Starting with the gentle, 'I Work Nights And You Work Days', pure musical pleasure. It is captivating and I am lost in the vision of this performed with a full orchestra. A spine tingling introduction! Flowing into 'Cold Skin' (http://youtu.be/TR409e-bNr4), the first single off the Album, which has different, sharper vocal and infectious indie pop hooks. It weaves gently, in and out of velvety textured tones and delicious basslines, to charming and upbeat foot-tapping, 'electo-country' vibes.
The title track from the album, 'Cannibals With Cutlery', is cut short, a thirty seconds teaser. I can assure you, the full version is amazing...so you boys better be working on that 'radio edit'!! However, I forgive them for the previous misdemeanour, as I fall in love with the changing rhythms of 'Besides She Said'. Laboured beats, giving a sense of an exhausted, end of festival inspiration. Continuing with the tempo changes and weighty beats, I have to give a special mention to 'Gasp', a truly outstanding track. Consideration is given to every breath and pause, holding your attention until the very last note.
Throughout the album, To Kill A King adeptly changes style, dipping in and out of soothing acoustics to subtle rhythms, to softer synths and tender harmonies. Before taking your hand and leading you into an upbeat and real dance-y pop flavour, like 'Rays'. A definite summer soundtrack and probably my favourite from the Word of Mouth EP, released last year.
Just when you think you have heard the best, the delicate 'Children Who Start Fires', captivates with its subtle tenderness. (How many favourites can I pick from one album?) They then drop in a few familiar tracks in the shape of 'Fictional state', which deals so beautifully with the desperation of today's society, put eloquently in to an epic and heartfelt, all guns blazing tragedy; And 'Family', a truly honest account of feelings about returning home. 'Cannibals With Cutlery' concludes, on the understated note of 'Letters to my Lover' (The Dylan Fan). A piercing sadness resonates through every word that somehow feels positive and hopeful, offering a taste of the future direction for To Kill a King.
A resounding success and a stunning album I will never tire of hearing.
Expect to hear To Kill A King infecting your ears with their melodious, multi layered vocals, coming out of your Radio, currently gaining fans on Radio1 and XFM. They really are a 'must see' live band, catch their next show at The Brudenell on the 11th April, I will!
Cannibals with Cutlery, release date 24th February, is available to as a pre-order. The first 500 physical copies are signed, order from here: http://bit.ly/WENUsw, or pre-order digital copies on iTunes http://bit.ly/VOsqaU.