Review: Kings Of Dust – Kings Of Dust
Shock Records / Vanity Music Group (March 13th 2020)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Kings of Dust have been put together by bassist Greg Chaisson who teamed up with fellow rock veterans Michael Thomas Beck on vocals, Ryan McKay on guitar and Jimi Taft on drums. It is a similar approach to that taken by British band Cats in Space who have released four albums so far. Kings of Dust have just released their first and the question is whether they can tap into the same blend of experienced musicianship and new band enthusiasm?
First track, ‘Like an Ocean‘, sets out their stall with a Black Sabbath style explosive opening and Michael Thomas Beck’s Bruce Dickinson style vocals completing the NWOBHM picture. It is a driving start to the album that sets out their stall and makes it clear that this is not an album or group to be messed with. Next up is ‘Upon Reflection‘ which starts with great bass and guitar work from Chaisson and McKay. With a Judas Priest style sound this track brings classic heavy rock bang up to date.
‘What’s the Other‘ is a no-nonsense headbanger that channels Iron Maiden and brings Taft’s drums into focus. The heart of every rock and metal band’s sound is the drummer and Taft powers on his bandmates in every song doing the heavy lifting where required and coming centre stage when asked. ‘The Devil made Me‘ do it is another fantastic showcase for Beck’s vocals which reverberate from your speakers as he combines a growling bass on the lower notes with a satanic scream on the high notes.
‘My Piece of Mine‘ starts with a more understated musical intro before Beck shows off his ability to deliver a rock ballad with the best of them. ‘Ugly‘ returns to the driving Judas Priest template, combining urgent guitar solos and coruscating drums. This is the type of song that could be extended live to show off the abilities of each group member as they all come to the fore during this track.
‘Yours not Mine‘ is loud enough to set your ears ringing at the start before settling in to another Black Sabbath style track from their Ian Gillan era. ‘Ya, That’s Me‘ is pure 70s Quo with a start that reminds me of Down Down and is just great fun.
‘By You‘, an instrumental track, starts off with the gentle chirping of cicadas before moving into a bluegrass style guitar and picking up pace as the song gets into its stride then ends abruptly. After that song which lasts less than 90 seconds, ‘Mama‘ is a multi-layered rock track lasting over seven minutes that builds and builds and will go down a storm when played live. It has a real craft and subtlety of arrangement that make this perhaps the most satisfying track on the album.
‘Wolves‘ is another no-nonsense rock track that shows Kings of Dust’s mastery of the whole metal and rock genre. The album ends with ‘A Little Bit of Insanity‘, a short track that blasts through the listener’s ears and reminds you that this is a band who can make their instruments speak.
This album is a passion project from a tight knit group of rock veterans who have another chance and are determined to make it count.