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An Interview With The Last King

A new single release from The Last King hits with a pulse-pounding and intricate thrash and death metal undertone that has a particular fierceness behind it but also comes through with a massive and anthemic feel complete with a nearly perfect guitar tone and drumming that drives everything into an edgy but formulated metal banger.

"Ancient Master" features some absolutely crazy riffs in what feels like a drop C tuning and the whole thing is so forward moving and non-stop, lush and hard-hitting, that it all feels like a total blitzkrieg, and then, this big vast and orchestrated chorus happens.

There are more than a few classic hardcore breakdowns that bring out that grind and harsh tonality throughout the track and when they happen you just want to jump about three feet in the air.

The riffs and overall feel of this have a haunt to them and this almost gothic dark horror edge that is just riddled with character.

There's a lot to soak in with this track and there are layers that can be peeled back, and one of the things that helps you do that is to watch the accompanying music video that comes with a single because it helps portray not only the band's presence and character for themselves but for this particular song as well.

This is a horror-themed music video, and it works so well with the track because all of it gives you a certain feel of terror in the pit of your stomach.

And even musically this whole thing hits like a sucker punch to the gut because several different changes happen throughout the song which give you these sorts of progressions and each one gives you a new time signature to just go crazy with.

I love how the vocalist is able to alternate his screaming to fit the different segments of the song as well and how the guitar work is just ridiculous the whole entire time.

However, one of my favorite things about this whole track is just that sheer energy that they have throughout it because it almost feels like a live performance.

It seems like the players are just feeding off of each other's energies the entire time and that's what gives us such a ferocious tonality in approach.

This is the kind of song that you hear, and it immediately makes you want to see this band live in your face because if the energy is like that on a recording, then seeing them live just might be completely destructive.

These guys can bring such different metal elements to the table with those sub-genres being deathcore, melodic metal, grindcore, death metal, thrash, and so much more that all shows face during the course of this one song and this is something that impresses the crap out of me.

I do indeed highly suggest that you watch the video the first time you listen to this song because it really just adds so much more to it even though the song already has such a full-bodied and technically masterful soundscape, the video itself shows the persona a little bit more and that's a great attribute especially with a band like this.

The thing with this kind of genre is that a lot of people don't understand the musicianship or heart that it takes to actually create a song like this and everything that goes into it.

If you just take a minute to even listen to the drumming alone on this track you find yourself in all of what's actually going on.

These guys really have a tight-knit style, and it may be because they've been playing together for a certain amount of time, or it could just be the perfect matchup.

Either way, it makes for a massive and beautifully brutal sound and with the release of this track, we had to sit down with The Last King just to find out where this track came from and what might be coming up next for the band.

Here's what went down.

Buzz Slayers: Hey guys! This came through with such a perfect energy and the guitar work was outstanding! How did this release come about?

w did this release come about?

                    -Appreciate that guitar work complement! Our guitarist Chantz initially wrote this song in early 2022 then had each of us add our sprinkling touches shortly afterwards before we finally hit the studio in the fall. We elected to record at Zing Studios in Westfield, MA due to the studio's prestigious history and to fully maximize our potential for this release. As soon as Chantz initially showed us this track however, we knew it had to be the first single and would also create the perfect album opener.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you musically?

                    -TLK initially began 9 years ago in our other guitarist Brett's basement. What first started as a couple high school friends jamming simple Deathcore songs soon became so much more than we had ever imagined. The original songs we wrote and released during those 2014-2016 years actually received a positive reception on the internet and told us that maybe we should keep this thing going. After a few member changes, countless live shows, three full length albums, and unlimited fond memories here we are preparing to release our 4th full length record!

Buzz Slayers: The music video for this was really well done! Did this come out how you expected? Did it take long?

                    -We love hearing that! Our close friend Jesse Smith who actually grew up with Brett came up with the entire music video plot and scene sequences while the lyrics that Andrew wrote are actually inspired by the popular horror film "The Collector." After infusing the film's general plot with our comedic acting skills at Brett's house for a 13 hour day we ended up with a pretty sick music video that we honestly could not be any happier with!

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you? 

                    -Many different musical styles excite us alongside live shows in general. Not to mention all the talented peers we each know within our local music community who constantly inspire us to improve our skill sets every day. You might've noticed that although we stay within the Death Metal & Death Core realms we like to incorporate other elements from outside genres to keep things interesting. That spans directly from the significant diversity in the music that we each individually enjoy.

Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

                    -Each of us listen to a diverse array of artists and genres including everything from disco to pop to classical. For us as a band if we had to pinpoint our biggest direct influences, they would have to be The Black Dahlia Murder, Fit For An Autopsy, After the Burial, Cannibal Corpse, Slaughter to Prevail, Shadow of Intent, Revocation, & Lorna Shore.

Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? 

                    -Don't worry, anytime we're not happily crafting or consuming music in our spare time we each work unfulfilling and stressful day jobs! Actually a few of our band members are self-employed while some of the others have decent careers so it seems to blend well enough to permit both family and music time overall.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

                    -So many amazing new releases keep coming out right now. Tesseract, Zenith Passage, Currents, Termina, Silent Planet, Signs of the Swarm, Plini, August Burns Red, Periphery, Meshuggah, Crown Magnetar, Within Destruction, Dying Fetus, Bilmuri. THERE ARE TOO MANY TO NAME!

Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?

                    -We will be playing out much more in 2024! Our first show date is currently booked for January 27th in Revere, MA with some great friends in I The Conqueror & Voluntary Victim! We usually play out quite a bit around the Northeast and New England in particular however have taken the past 6 months off to allow proper paternity leave for our frontman Andrew!

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?

                    -This particular song and upcoming album was recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely at Zing Studios in Westfield, MA which is where many greats before us recorded their classic albums including All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Unearth, etc. We each have our own DIY recording setups at our respective homes however where we often lay down demos before seeking out larger audio engineering options.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

                    -A lot more TLK is quickly on the horizon with a wide plethora of content to go with everything! We plan on hitting the ground running full speed in 2024 and want everyone to hear all that has gone into TLK 4! The full album will be out sometime in the spring/early summer.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

                     -If you've miraculously made it this far then you are truly far too kind for supporting us as we could not be any more grateful and hope you are prepared for us to annoy you plenty in 2024! Otherwise be good to one another, support underground metal, support local bands in general, attend more shows of all types, and always keep the faith no matter how tough things get!

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