Review ·

Kingdom of Sorrow would seem like a complementary project if all you did were read the rap sheets of founding members Jamey Jasta, of metalcore posterboys Hatebreed, and Kirk Windstein, of O.G. sludge crew Crowbar and N’Awlins supergroup Down. Hatebreed has always metallicized its hardcore assault, and Crowbar’s sludge was laced with hardcore beats and breakdowns from the beginning. But a successful collaboration involves some kind of give and take, and Kingdom of Sorrow doesn’t offer much compromise at all. Like Audioslave, this band is exactly the sum of its parts. The riffs sound like Windstein wrote 'em, the vocals and lyrics sound like Jasta sang 'em, and rarely does it get more exciting than that.


Lyrics aren’t Jasta’s strong suit with Hatebreed, and the pride, betrayal, and self-empowerment-themed soundbites on Kingdom of Sorrow are no different. Hackneyed phrases like “Trying not to let the hopelessness engulf me” from “Free the Fallen” are more functional than meaningful, working as vehicles for Jasta’s hardcore bark and as shout-along material for future tours. Jasta bungles “Screaming into the Sky,” a potentially heartfelt ode to a dead friend, with grade-school poetry and out-of-place aggression. And “With Unspoken Words” could be a decent metal ballad if it weren’t for a chamber of background whispers dragging it down -- just one of Jasta’s many misguided attempts at copping Pantera/Down vocalist Phil Anselmo’s worst habits.


What little personality Kingdom of Sorrow evinces comes from Windstein, who knows his way around a planet-stomping metal riff. Forget that we’ve heard the same crunchy grooves since the early days of Crowbar and the same lead-footed, bluesy breakdowns of “Grieve A Lifetime” on all three Down albums -- the economy and variety of Windstein’s riff-writing is the only thing that keeps this album afloat. Bassist Matthew Brunson and drummer Derek Kerswill (Unearth) hold down a solid rhythm section, and guitarist Steve Gibb (Crowbar, ex-Black Label Society) seconds Windstein with a natural sense of groove that you might expect from the son of a Bee Gee.


Maybe if Kingdom of Sorrow were created by unknowns or put out by a less reputable label than Relapse, or if it weren’t three years in the making, we could pass it off as a fun, lightweight metal album and call it a day. But Jasta and Windstein take themselves pretty seriously on Kingdom of Sorrow, down to the gothic band name and crusading knight on the cover, so the fact that they miss the mark is all the more disappointing. Kingdom of Sorrow isn’t horrible, but it sure doesn’t add anything to its founders’ legacies.






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you have no idea what you are talking about buddy! you probably give chemical romance a great review. you dontlike i cuz u cant handle it!!! yo couldnt do it if your life depended on it


The theme is self empowerment. Not so crowds can sing along at shows, but because self empowerment are the lyrical themes of Crowbar too. If the band is exactly the sum of its parts, I am very grateful. Kirk is HUGE.


wow this guy is a jackass, i cant even respond to his BRAINLESS review, it aint worth it, THIS ROCKS


How did Etan even get a job reviewing? I think he's been etan some bad acid. I gotta check some of his other reviews cuz this dude blows!


Love Crowbar, for sure, but I completely agree with this review. It's dead on.

Niggy Tardust

dude your a wanker! kingdom of sorrow kicks ass! jamey jasta rulez!

kingdom forever

this guy is a frickin retard how
did this guy get the job reviewing band kingdom of sorrow is the best collaboration ever screw this retard and all his reviews


Personally i thought this album rocks..

im a big fan of crowbar and i like hatebreed so i cant complain..

riffs are good....lyrics are good.....and i like how jamey and kirk share the vocal duties..

solid 8-10.

BAd BEnny

this group sucks they sound like my highschool band!

metal up

This Band rules! and my word is law, so shut up and suck my dick.


This dude has no idea what he is talking about I thought this was a great album. Does it sound like hatebreed in parts, yes. does it sound like down and crowbar and pantera in parts, sure i guess i can see that but I have yet to list off a trait that could be considered a bad thing. This dude probably is just pissed cause michael jackson doesn't have a new album out.


Kick him out!
Fire him!
He should give up reviewing albums.
I am 54 yrs old and I think this one of the best albums I have heard. Alive with energy, oozing reality and straight to the bone. Blood and guts, everywhere!
Real, man, real!


Crowbar never gets old.
Jasta's lyrics are getting old.
Hardcore no sellouts.

Death Walking Terror

This reviewer is the biggest waste of breath I have ever heard in my life. I am insulted by his ignorance and lack of appreciation for a great album, I want to personally revoke his membership from the human race. \m/


i think the cd does blur together some, but overall kickass guitars and drums, vocals questionable and up for discussion. But i love this cd!!


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