Texas-based metalcore stalwarts Fit For a King are back with their sevent studio album, The Hell We Create. This album is the follow-up to 2020’s The Path, which many fans were disappointed with. Are FFAK able to get back on track with their most recent effort?
In short, yes. The Hell We Create takes what the band did well on The Path and combines it with the strengths of their sound from previous albums. Album opener “The Hell We Create” begins with a wide-open intro that sets the mood for the album: emotional and foreboding.
The chorus keeps the song moving forward with new drummer Trey Celaya’s (Invent, Animate) double bass work, which he showcases even more during the breakdown of the song. The band ends with the breakdown instead of returning for another chorus, which I think works well here. They do it a few times on this LP and it allows the songs to leave the proper impression instead of forcing another chorus.
“End (The Other Side)” was the single with which the band announced the album. It perfectly encapsulates what Fit For a King is all about musically. Lyrically, it covers frontman Ryan Kirby’s struggle with nearly losing his wife to a stroke. This album is very personal for Kirby, dealing with his mental health struggles, his wife’s medical battles, and adopting his two children.
Final single, “Times Like This” is reminiscent of a much improved “Breaking the Mirror” from The Path. It’s another melodic metalcore intro, which comes from the influence of new member Daniel Gailey (Phinehas, ex-Becoming the Archetype). The song also features Jonathan Vigil of The Ghost Inside, who’s feature, while short, adds some needed punch to the song and elevates the song just enough.
“Reaper” and “Eyes Roll Back” are the two heaviest songs on the album, with the latter delving quite deep into deathcore territory. There’s not too much additional to say here, but both are very high-quality heavy tracks from FFAK.
I want to shine a special spotlight on the final trio of songs on The Hell We Create– “Fracture,” “Reaching Out,” and “What You Left Behind.”
All three of these songs deal with Kirby’s adoption of his niece and nephew. “Fracture” is a brooding song that slowly builds intensity all the way through the breakdown and is from the perspective of his adopted children towards their biological parents.
“Reaching Out” is a song from the band to Kirby’s kids that tells them that they see them and, while they can’t feel their pain, they can listen, and they want them to win.
“What You Left Behind” is the perfect finale to this group of songs and the album as a whole. The first half of the track is written from the perspective of Kirby’s children, while the second half is Kirby and his wife speaking directly to their kids’ biological parents. Musically, this song includes strings and has tinges of the blackened deathcore sound that bands like Lorna Shore have popularized recently.
The Hell We Create is a fantastic collection of tracks that show Fit For a King expanding their sound just enough and improving on their previous effort. It hits hard at the right moments, is incredibly personal and emotional, and lets fans of the band know that Fit For a King are reinvigorated and are ready to take the leap to another level.
“What You Left Behind”
“The Hell We Create”
“Eyes Roll Back”