After their tour was cancelled earlier this year, Fit For A King continued to forge ahead, and recently released what could be their most powerful album yet.
Released on September 17th, Texas-based band, Fit For A King’s sixth studio album The Path, rains down a heavy fire of righteous anger and hope against a time in our lives packed with fear. Each track is capable of filling stadiums with their heavy hooks and rhythm that are bound to get caught in your head, while introducing a new variety of sound compared to their previous releases. And in its first week, the band broke personal records, showing that their message especially hits home.
In conversation about the album, front man Ryan Kirby, reveals: “In the past, we have dove into some pretty dark areas of our life, with Dark Skies being the pinnacle of hopelessness. With The Path, we find our way out, and claim victory over the demons we have faced and are currently facing. This album is made to be the soundtrack for your victory over what mentally and physically holds us back” (1).
While this isn’t a new concept, Fit For A King takes this plunge while we face an especially fearful time, creating a capsule of our history and inspiring anyone who listens to keep fighting.
Starting off the album on a strong note, “The Face of Hate” ropes its listeners in with sweet guitar licks and and a dramatic shift in message compared to their past album.
No matter what darkness you are facing, our lives are a process, climbing the mountain to victory and staring down at the face of hate. It’s nothing but rigorous and filled with challenge, but as we climb higher, we gain the advantage of an enemy that remains on the battleground and the front lines. The imagery used in this track shows anyone who listens that in growing stronger, our enemies don’t seem as powerful as they used to be.
Preluding the album drop, “Breaking The Mirror” was one of the singles released, and was the first piece of music fans heard in over a year. Fitting the blueprints that make a future radio hit, the track breaks down the struggle with their dark past, transitioning fans into their new sound without abandoning their past message.
If anyone knows what it’s like to fight against inner and outer demons, it’s Fit For A King. In past albums, their music progresses to the darker messages, capturing the trapped heaviness of depression, anger, and embodying the darkness of troubled past. But as the band says, the past is the past. In order to keep moving forward, we must find greener pastures.
“Breaking the Mirror” not only creates a transition from this darkness, but encourages their listeners to not only leave the past behind, but to destroy the elements in it that make it a part of your identity. It’s a conscious choice, to an extent, to break old and bad patterns; to find hope amid fear and chaos; and to take the next step in growth and healing. Every day, we have to wake up and make that choice. Are we going to give in to the enemies inside our heads telling us to give up, or are we going to pick up our swords and shields and break the patterns of our broken past?
Some of us are built up on strong foundations– be it from a loving and wholesome upbringing or otherwise healthy environment– enabling us to build strong walls and a roof to protect us from storms coming our way. But many of us can say that something went wrong along the way in our upbringings. The foundation can be weak, the roof could be leaky; or the house we built could be perfect in every way until something we never could have prepared for comes crashing in and crumbles it. Be it as it may, all of us have our own stories; our own houses with their own problems.
There are some houses that are so rotted out or broken down that sometimes, to be able to start fresh, we are forced to start from the ashes of destruction. Only then can we build again, anew; a strong foundation built more prepared and capable against the storms, equipped with the tools we find along the way in the chaos.
Fit For A King’s “Annihilation” discusses this in great detail; how sometimes, only from the ashes of the crumbled down walls, the pain and the brokenness, we can start again, from the ground up, to build something better and stronger than ever before (2).
Title track, “The Path,” is one to fill the arenas with energized, heavy riffs and clean-cut lyrics. Embodying the uplifting message of the album, the song is a heavy anthem of embracing the journey; the rough-cut path full of twists and turns that build experience and empathy rather than giving into the pressure of giving up, than getting lost in the chaos.
“If you’re broken/if you’re bleeding/if you’re dying for somebody to believe in/don’t you turn back/you’ve got a story to tell…” shouts the vocalist in the chorus. While staying simple in its message, the vocals are easy to shout to while jumping in the pit or lean into while sitting alone in the dark.
Paired with equal amounts of clean and unclean vocals, “Prophet” is easily one of the stronger tracks on the album. While creating a variety of sound in the incredible drum solos in the chorus and bridge, and stripping to a slower tempo of electric guitar, nu-metal elements, and emotional clean vocals, Fit For A King uses this track to showcase their talent.
The song becomes a plea to the expanse above as to why suffering, chaos, and destruction are allowed to prevail; demanding an answer to the ever-burning question, “If there is a god, why does he allow…(insert pretty much anything here… death, evil, etc.)?” The band begs the answer in various ways, starting with a chill intro and clean vocals and balancing that element with some of their heaviest breakdowns yet in the album to balance it out. This creates a much more emotionally-gripping experience, tearing you in different directions with the variety of sound while screaming into the empty-feeling vastness of the above (3).
Another track befitting a future radio hit, “Locked (in My Head)” is a softer track on the album with clean vocals of Kirby and Tuck, paired up with some tasty riffs; creating a song that will follow you around and play in your head long after you’ve finished listening.
Following the cleanest song on the album, Fit For A King balances it out with the next track, “God Of Fire,” a heavy-hitter befitting the religious leaders who use the fear of fire and condemnation of hell to preach their message, instead of embodying peace, love, and a message of hope to uplift others.
The track refuses to shrink back into a box, calling out the blasphemy of leaders who use religion as a way of personal gain, who transform their God into one of fire and brimstone, instead of one of mercy and love (4).
One of the more nu-metal songs on The Path, “Stockholm” blends more variety into the previously fully metalcore sound of Fit For A King, but it still remains as one of the heaviest tracks in the entire album. A true blend of modern-day metal music without abandoning its heavy elements, “Stockholm” will be, without a doubt, a fun one to hear on tour.
“Louder Voice” starts out as what seems to be an interlude track, then breaks down into a heavy beat and guitar riffs. In metal albums, many people expect an interlude track somewhere, and Fit For A King seems to play on this just to make the head spin and bring a smile to the face when instead of an interlude track, we find ourselves immersed with a blast of sound in the ears.
Featuring high range vocals and multiple-part harmonies with other vocalists, Daniel and Tuck, in the pre-chorus, the track is full of surprises before breaking down into a simple chorus, then becomes heavier again in the next verse, and breaks down yet again with a surprise guitar solo. The vocals all blend beautifully together, and each musician in the band is showcased to the extent of their full talents (5).
Concluding the album, “Vendetta,” finishes off The Path strong with another heavy hit. The track leaves the listeners with a lingering message against a traitorous enemy that they’ll face the justice for the crimes they committed, whereas the people afflicted will continue to grow, and no longer bend to their will.
The track flow of The Path is a balanced gradient of heavy and clean elements, giving the audience an uplifting message against darkness and fear, while showcasing each musician’s talents in full. Though we may be battered and beaten down by the cards we were handed, we are capable of changing our own fate and growing beyond it, using the pain we faced to transform into tools of growth and success.
The Path will be quite the experience live, when shows can finally return again. Stay tuned for more updates regarding Fit For A King, and stream The Path now!