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Kingdom of Sorrow | Behind the Blackest Tears | review | metal | Lollipop

Kingdom of Sorrow

Behind the Blackest Tears (Relapse)
By Mike Delano

Kingdom of Sorrow has been, up to this point, pretty much what one would expect from a collaboration featuring Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta and Crowbar's Kirk Windstein. Jasta's commanding hardcore barks scraped against Windstein's legendary sludge riffs to powerful, if not unexpected, results on the band's 2008 debut, with both parties moving only marginally out of their comfort zones. When Behind the Blackest Tears kicks off with "Enlightened to Extinction," it sounds like the new record will offer more of the same, but then something happens. "God's Law in the Devil's Land" blows everything wide open with an incredible spark that immediately calls to mind the indescribable chemistry of Windstein's other supergroup, Down. The song is a bar fight with boogie, and it generates enough momentum to elevate the subsequent standouts "Monuments of Ash" and the title track. They eventually run out of gas, with the final third of the album settling back into more familiar territory, but the impact has already been made: Kingdom of Sorrow is nobody's side-project, and they can be a top-tier metal band when they want to be.


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