Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Kingdom of Disappointment - 54%

JamesIII, January 6th, 2010

I remember there was some hype put into the idea of Kirk Windstein and Jamey Jasta working together. I've never had much for Hatebreed, they have done a few enjoyable songs in their time but their sound is hardly anything to build a career out of. On the other hand, Crowbar remains a band I've consistently enjoyed for years, their adherence to sludgey Black Sabbath tribute has always been something I found interesting.

Kingdom of Sorrow reminds me something of a more tolerable Hell Yeah. Its a supergroup (superduo?) with one credible musician surrounded by admirers. Vinnie Paul was surrounded by members of nu-metal/hardcore band members from Mudvayne and Nothingface. Kingdom of Sorrow sees sludge pioneer Kirk Windstein taking admirer Jamey Jasta under his wing. Jasta likes Crowbar, as he's mentioned this multiple times and been seen wearing shirts depicting the name. Hey, nothing wrong with that, but injecting an inferior style into something of what Crowbar would usually put out does not constitute an enjoyable listen. Hatebreed's monotony plays into this album a good deal, and the outcome is far from essential.

This album ends up breaking into two sections, the tolerable and the forgettable. None of these songs are truly awful, most of them reek of Crowbar influence but just about all of them come off as b-sides for said band. I don't think anybody would actually hear this on a Crowbar album and say it lives up to standards set forth by "Odd Fellows Rest" or even as far back as the self-titled.

Of the tolerable, we get first "Hear this Prayer for Her." Of any band, I would say this actually comes closer to something Down might have come up with. It still is a notch or two lower than anything found on "NOLA" or even the heavier material off "A Bustle In Your Hedgerow." "Lead Into Demise" starts off with a faster section reminiscient of "All I Had (I Gave)" or "Burn Your World," then slows down towards the middle. "Buried In Black" comes off as a mid-tempo straight forward metal track, and while decent is my least favorite of the songs in this category. Now "With Unspoken Words" honestly sounds like some of the more atmospheric moments off "Broken Glass," reminding me specficially of "Nothing" off that album. If it weren't for Jamey Jasta's annoying ass yells and instead it was Kirk performing all vocals for this album, I would even classify "With Unspoken Words" as worthy of being called a Crowbar song. Then again, if Jamey Jasta was gone entirely, I'd have more respect for this album as he usually weighs down the vocal front of what this has to offer.

The songs in the forgettable category are the remaining seven. Again, nothing terrible but most of these are repetitive and ideas wear thin even with their short durations. "Screaming into the Sky" is the longest of these songs, and ironically the one that works the best. It sometimes tries to recreate what made "With Unspoken Words" a good song, then hammers out more hardcore moments that kill the atmosphere. Its this hardcore element, which was always traceable to some extent in Crowbar's music, that wears down this album. Its too present in the songs, and suffers from the same problems Hatebreed usually does in its limited ideas. Limited ideas lead to repeititon, repeititon leads to monotony and songs that are forgettable.

"Kingdom of Sorrow" was quite a bit of a letdown for me. Having not gotten a Crowbar album for four years at the time I picked this up, I was expecting more on that well of creativity. Ironically this album does take more from Crowbar than it does Hatebreed, but it takes too much Hatebreed and this ends up sounding like the unfortunate spawn of a hardcore/sludge band with far too few ideas in the mix. Even when we get some aggressive moments going, things just wear down to a grinding halt and it stops being exciting. The best moments here are when the band takes a breather for some slower, more atmospheric moments, where Crowbar tends to truly shine.

Potential buyers who might be suckered into this because their favorite sludge pioneer is involved need to be tread cautiously. I bought this brand new for $12 and feel very cheated, but you learn to get over such things. There are only four songs here that are tolerable, and only one of them is something I'd consider on par with Crowbar's past material. If you can locate the four songs I spoke of in a positive manner, consider getting them over this full length any day. I just can't recommend this due to the lackluster effort that it truly is, despite what the cover art might trick some into thinking.