Aussie extremists King show real progression on their new effort Fury and Death. Extant now for over a decade, they really seem to have hit a sweet spot on tracks like Once And For All and Into The Fire that finally sees them achieving what they’ve so clearly been striving towards over their first couple of albums.

What that is, to these old ears at least, is the efficient marriage of melody to muscle. King have always had a knack for lacing even their blackest toons with a bit o’hummability, but for one reason or another -and this happens with most bands attempting to pull off a similar trick – always just fallen short of total success. Here, there are no such problems, as both tracks I’ve mentioned deliver the good in rip-roaring fashion. There is no compromise here – this is still the heavy-as-hell King you’ll know and love – but they really seem to have hit some sort of creative motherlode.

That’s not to say the other tracks on offer are lacking; Both the hammering Volcano and closer To The Stars are both up there with anything this band has committed to wax thus far. There’s just something about those two tracks that points to a band really smashing the bullseye into little bits of blackened cork.

Eztreme metal colossus David Haley – who, remarkably enough, happens to be in all four of my fave Aussie bands – drives it all from the back with his usual power and finesse, but this is absolutely a team effort; guitarist Dave Hill comes up with some choice playing throughout, whilst Tony Forde‘s carpet-bombing voice has to be one of the best full-on expositions of vocal mayhem I’ve heard in a fair while. New bassist Tim Anderson slots right in to the mayhem seamlessly, with the result being the most complete offering from this band yet. Great stuff.

Fury and Death releases on November 17th.