Fit For A King - Creation/Destruction
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Creation/Destruction is the second studio album by Christian metalcore band Fit For A King. Based out of Tyler, Texas, Fit For A King has been churning out high quality, apocalyptic 3-minute breakdowns since 2009. Their songs feature savage guitar riffs, snare heavy drumming, clean vocal sections, and the surprisingly deep screams of Ryan Kirby, who fills the mix with an undeniably powerful vocal presence (a tad ironic given he is the size of my fourteen year old brother). Jokes aside, Fit For A King’s music is well produced and structured, focusing on hard hitting musical and lyrical substance over anything drawn out or introspective. Creation/Destruction is similar to the band’s debut album Descendants, but in this second album the clean vocals are more substantial and the music is more clearly composed.
Album opener “Creation” is a thirty-second segment of filtered audio sampling and delayed, brooding lead guitar work by Bobby Lynge. “Creation” sets an unsettling tone to the beginning of the album as the atmosphere quickly builds and seamlessly drops into the de-tuned chugging of album stand out “Warpath.” “Warpath” is a dynamic track featuring Kirby’s dirty screams, an aggressive musical structure, and driving clean vocals. The song feels like an apocalypse as Kirby roars in front of string bends and tom fills, “You can bury me alive, I will always stand for this. I refuse to let this die.”
Track three, “Hollow King (Sound of the End),” opens with Kirby’s distorted screaming and the typical metalcore elements. While the band doesn’t stray far from the genre, they do it with such confidence and passion that it’s undeniably solid. In this track Kirby addresses the devil and perceptions of the self, screaming, “This is the price that you pay. I never thought that I would end up like this.” Kirby’s lyrical themes are not hidden in layers of metaphor, but what they lack in subtlety they make up for with vocal charisma; even a non-religious person such as myself can’t help but get into the groove with him and feel it out.
Number four, "Broken Fame," begins with a clean vocal monologue and flows into an adrenaline infused metal track. While sounding musically similar to the first few tracks, this song has an upped tempo and clean vocal presence. Track five, "Bitter End," does not feature any clean vocals, and it works quite well for the band. There is just something about Kirby’s screams that make the music stand out as more powerful, more aggressive and gritty. "Bitter End" is a track about repeatedly making wrong choices and attempting to change one’s habits. Kirby’s lyrics are vivid, “My mind was molded to betray you. This is my breaking point,” and staggered breakdowns follow, reminiscent of The Plot In You.
Number six, "Skin & Bones," is a slower track with only clean vocals. The lyrics are direct thoughts and doubts about life after death, and the song features ambient and orchestral programming. Number seven, "The Resistance," opens with a delicate piano melody and delayed guitar lines. The track quickly unfolds into another powerhouse, as string bends and rapid drumming place the backdrop to Kirby’s superb vocals. "The Resistance" is apparently a song written about the generally stupid stance Westboro Baptist Church takes on everything, and as the music abruptly breaks, Kirby is given the spotlight to give them the middle finger, screaming, “Your existence disgusts me.”
Track eight, "Identity," is once again an experiment in the clean vocal/screaming dynamic done perfectly with confident instrumentation and stuttered guitar chugs. “Identity” is similar to “Warpath” in earthquake breakdown structures. Number nine, "The Lioness," is unique in Kirby’s message; he expertly weaves in and out of the music with messages of failing in his standards of what it means to be good. He seems to be at the end of his line, “Everyone around me thinks I have it all together, if only they knew the words that I’ve been twisting...” and it becomes clear that Kirby is not presenting himself as holier than thou. His lyrics are likely to hit home with anyone who sees flaws in their behavior, or feels that they have been something they don't want to be.
Track ten, “Eyes To See,” is Kirby’s lyrical plea for proof of his beliefs; “Show me something, I just need a sign. Give me something for my eyes to see,” but he manages to bring a resolution to the table, inciting a chilling breakdown, “This war will never be won as long as I question my existence.” The final song, “Destruction,” is another simple, yet energized, metalcore piece featuring Kirby’s repetition of the line, “My destruction lives,” over and over until the song fades into a solemn, haunting orchestral outro to the album.
Overall, Creation/Destruction is a solid album. Only 31 minutes long, the content featured is serious and confrontational, involving topics of morality and personal examination. The music, when considered, is somewhat simple, but the confidence and passion with which it is played is well done. Vocalist Ryan Kirby’s lyrics are direct and add severity to the music. Even though the Christian themes are over the top, it’s refreshing to hear a vocalist with this much aesthetic charisma backed by solid production. My suggestion for the band would be to experiment with more melody, as lead guitars were somewhat lacking or rudimentary.