King Woman are a good example of meshing a lot of genres together and yielding solid results. One could describe the group as the musical love child of Black Sabbath, Sunn O))), and PJ Harvey. The buzzing guitars, heavy drums, and ethereal vocals give the shorter EP an aural attack that makes a listener lulled to a sleepy tone and snapped out of it by pummeling bass and guitar segments that can feel dooming. The most enchanting element of the music itself is Kristina Esfandiari’s astounding pipes though. She has the voice of an angel floating over top of a terrifying tragedy and somehow giving off a tepid sense of comfort.
Throughout the four tracks present on Doubt, there is a strong sense of purpose to each track. “Wrong” kicks off the album on a melancholy note as present by sullen guitar lines and an interesting post-rock influence that sets the tone for what is to come next. “King of Swords” is the best track by a mile, utilizing mid-tempo rhythm sections and powerful breakdowns as if they are pulling the track apart with seismic force. “Burn” sounds like an artist combing the attack of early Black Sabbath with a shoegaze influence. The lighter guitars that slowly build throughout are incredible, while the monstrous drum kick early mixes perfectly with the majestic vocal attack. The one misstep that King Woman take is the closing track of the EP, “Candescent Soul.” The track is good for the most part, featuring a solid vocal and percussion performance, but there is a tiny build that never really feels interesting or invest the listener into it’s down tempo mood, and the track itself ends the EP far too abrupt.
The only main problem with Doubt as a whole is just how short the EP is. Clocking in at under 20 minutes and only four tracks, this feels more like a teaser than full-fledged music attack. There are many moments where tracks could possibly be extended to sustain the great level of detail they already have, or could easily be used on a full-length record that can cause these moods to mean a lot more.
King Woman are certainly a band worth looking forward to in the future. Despite one track being a bit too anti-climactic and the EP feeling far too short for it’s own good, there are many positives to take away from this experiment. Three of the four tracks are nothing short of excellent, the vast array of influences are highly impressive, and any excuse to hear Kristina Esfandiari is worth a listen. I will be eagerly anticipating a full-length effort from King Woman in the future, and so should any metal fan.
This whole EP can be streamed at The Flenser’s youtube page shared on the link below:
2. King of Swords
4. Candescent Soul