Fit For A King – The Hell We Create
Released: October 28th, 2022
Ryan Kirby // Vocals
Bobby Lynge // Guitar
Daniel Gailey // Guitar
Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary // Bass
Trey Celaya // Drums
Metalcore titans Fit For A King return once more, adhering to their album every two years schedule. The Hell We Create is the band’s sixth album and has some relatively large boots to fill, as their last four have scored Top 5 positions on both the Billboard Top Christian Albums Chart and the Top Hard Rock Albums Chart. Did Fit For A King deliver another stellar album and cement their name into the metalcore history books?
‘The Hell We Create’ has to be one of the best album opening hype tracks I’ve heard in a while. Slowly fading in with pre-war sounding rhythms, a monster melodic guitar riff, big whoa oh vocals, and snare and crash smashes, all building into a massive drum roll for everything to then cut to silence ever so briefly, before frontman Ryan Kirby unleashes a beastly scream “THIS IS THE HELL WE CREATE”. The boys drop straight into a fast-paced verse with double kicks aplenty. Trey Celaya continues this double-kick assault throughout the anthemic chorus before the band pulls it back and sinks into a monster groove for the second verse, with Kirby showcasing some rap chops over the top. The boys build some tension after the second chorus to let you know something huge is coming and they don’t disappoint, free-falling into a thumping breakdown of purely zeros that will have old-school metalcore fans grinning from ear to ear. Ryan Kirby lets loose some absolutely menacing vocals, reaching into the pits of hell for some low gutturals, especially that “urrrrrggghhhh”. Cue dissonant guitar leads, and we have breakdown perfection. Strap yourselves in lads, lasses and non-binary peeps, I think we are in for another top-tier metalcore album.
‘End (The Other Side)’ is the second single Fit For A King released to the world, and covers the near-death experience of vocalist Ryan Kirby’s wife. On the experience, Ryan says it “not only showed me how unprepared I was to lose her, but also how unprepared I am to face death”. The chorus vocal lines “Will you stay with me, I can’t do this without you, I don’t think I’ll survive, the other side”, really hit home knowing this factor. Musically, ‘End (The Other Side)’ showcases the band’s signature style of furious verses, contrasting emotion-filled choruses, and usually a crushing breakdown or two. Speaking of breakdowns, this song all culminates into Ryan Kirby unleashing the vocal “DEATH COMES FOR US ALLLLL” to begin that completely world-shattering breakdown – clearly showcasing how it would feel to lose your life partner (or anyone close to you for that matter).
Third single ‘Falling Through The Sky’ follows and is a little more mellow, leaning towards the group’s more melodic side. Verses are quite pulled back and revolve around Ryan’s clean vocals and Trey Celaya’s beats. The full band kicks in for the very hooky chorus – one that’s guaranteed to have fans singing along at shows. The track gets a little dirtier after the second chorus, plunging into a bit of a breakdown. Overall, this one’s a pretty standard modern melodic metalcore number and reminds me of Memphis May Fire’s latest offerings.
Fit For A King get back to their trademark sound for ‘Sink Below’. A lo-fi version of the chorus whets listener’s appetites until guitarists Bobby Lynge and Daniel Gailey tear through the massive melodic chorus riff as this tuna-sandwich hits with full force. This short tease of the song’s full chorus gives way to a frantic verse that will have punters’ heads banging. A short drum-focused pre-chorus has Trey ripping some huge fills before the band hit you with one of my favourite choruses from the album. It’s fast, it’s catchy, and has an awesome melody, that finishes with a huge ascending final vocal line. Fit For A King get a bit nastier for the second verse, slowing it down a little and getting into a bit of a groove. Just to make sure listeners need a neck brace after listening to this thrasher, FFAK throw in a neck-snapping riffdown. The closing chorus has the classic slightly pulled-back start that works so well to make sure the chorus hits like a truck when it fully kicks in.
Next up is ‘Reaper’. This was the first offering dropped and is one of the heavier tracks from the album. ‘Reaper’ opens with a ticking clock, reminding the listener that time is always ticking, and life is short. The band mix up the usual song structure here and get right into the chorus. The chorus is one of the heaviest on the album (and probably their past few albums), with guitarists Bobby Lynge and Daniel Gailey and bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary providing a grinding riff for Ryan Kirby to scream his lungs out over. This anthem is straight out abuse from start to finish and just ebbs and flows back and forth between the heavy verses and choruses without ever losing momentum. The ticking clock kicks back in and is accompanied by a vocal sample “we don’t have time, time has us” until the band treat us to a planet-destroying breakdown that would probably make a few death metal bands sweat.
Fourth single ‘Times Like This’ only dropped a week ago. This is a fast and furious track, and you know this is Fit For A King from the moment it starts thanks to the signature guitar-tone and riffage – those big chords and melodic leads! Trey Celaya is on fire throughout this one, punishing the kit and treating listeners to blast beats, gigantic fills, and killer grooves. Daniel Gailey shines too, with a shredding guitar solo that will have spirit fingers in the air at shows. The carnage slows ever so briefly for a huge pre-breakdown with a quick pause, to make sure the end game slaps you in the face harder than Will Smith. The Ghost Inside’s Jonathan Vigil takes the lead for the breakdown vocals and delivers a stellar performance, bellowing throughout. ‘Times Like This’ has everything you could want from a metalcore banger, including those “whoa-ohs” in the chorus.
‘Eyes Roll Back’ is a fucking heavy one, and was debuted live for the very first time at the Perth leg of the “Metalcore Snitches” tour with Alpha Wolf. Kirby unleashes a monstrous scream to open this belter – letting the listener know this is one he is going to shine on, and he does just that. He showcases his vocal range, alternating between mid-range snarls and bellowing lows, before getting unquestionably guttural during the breakdown. He also flexes his delivery styles, from rhythmic bursts to spitting rapid-fire vocal lines. Trey Celaya also shines on this tune, flowing seamlessly between monstrous grooves and relentless double kick fuelled beats. Guitarists Bobby Lynge and Daniel Gailey and bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary fill the rest of the soundscape with syncopated riffs full of chugs and huge bends. This one better stay in their setlist as it will tear venues down.
The quintet slow it down just a little for ‘Fracture’. This is a super melodic number and Ryan Kirby uses his cleans to soothe your soul during the first stripped-back verse. The vocal focus during this verse allows the chorus to really hit the listener when the full band kick in. The lyric the chorus revolves around is “I don’t need you in my life”, suggesting that the title of the song is referring to fracturing a relationship. The track takes a turn after the second chorus, and the band kick it up a notch for a heavy bridge, that builds into the vocal callout “You mean nothing” to kick off the breakdown – really cementing that ending of a relationship.
‘Reaching Out’ is definitely the rock ballad of the album. It begins with some solo, clean vocal-based melodies, that continue through the chorus, though now backed with heavy instrumentals – creating a big stadium vibe. The instrumentals strip back to mainly drums and vocals again for the second verse, bringing back the mellow and quite melancholic atmosphere. Later in the ballad, the boys slip into quite an epic feeling bridge thanks to a subtle key change. This is complemented by Ryan’s screaming vocals over top, finally dropping into a short breakdown, giving listeners that dopamine rush we all long for.
Album closer ‘What You Left Behind’ kicks in with some lo-fi beats that crescendo into a mammoth-sounding intro – Trey Celaya showcasing his footwork with intense double kicks, and guitarists Bobby Lynge and Daniel Gailey unleashing a lightning-fast tremolo-picked riff, all backed by a melodic symphony. This fury cuts away suddenly, putting the spotlight onto Ryan Kirby’s clean vocals, if only fleetingly, as seconds later we’re back at 100, building into the larger-than-life chorus that’s sure to have packed venues yelling along. The back half of the song keeps the momentum up, full of aggressive riffs and savage vocals that take the listener on a journey to a pre-breakdown so chunky, Heinz might turn it into a soup. Fit For A King then close out the album with a breakdown that will have listeners pulling their best stank faces.
Fit For A King have definitely delivered a solid metalcore album with The Hell We Create, however they haven’t really done anything we haven’t heard from them before. This could be seen as a win or a loss; a win as it’s exactly what you would expect from them and they do it oh so well, or a loss, if you wanted to see some growth from the last few albums. Either way, the album features 10-tracks of polished metalcore that will keep fans satisfied for the more-than-likely two year wait until the next record drops.
Fit For A King – The Hell We Create tracklisting:
The Hell We Create
3. Falling Through The Sky
4. Sink Below
6. Times Like This (ft. Jonathan Vigil)
7. Eyes Roll Back
9. Reaching Out
10. What You Left Behind