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Sullivan King Nails His Mark

by Eric Valencia

Even though Sullivan King has been making killer riffs and irresponsibly hard drops since 2014, it wasn’t until Excision’sApexalbum that I was first introduced to his distinct style.  His collaboration for “Wake Up” was heavy and dark, plucking feelings out with every string played.  Later in the same album “Fight Through The Pain” showed off his true metal side, bringing back memories of Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage.  The unique blend that Sullivan King brings allows him to be just as deadly with a mixer as he is with his guitar, shredding both to almost total destruction.

Like an unexpected treat, his debut album gave me something to really sink my teeth into.  “Show Some Teeth” marries his deep-Bass, electronic side with his passion for Metal chords.  What surprised me about this album was the number of tracks that showed a softer side of his talent, which wasn’t what I had expected. I had steeled myself to be torn apart by fast, aggressive tones, but that is not what I received.  Don’t get me wrong though, those tracks are definitely there and beautifully executed. 

Reckless”, “Put Em Up”, and “Where Angels Die” are the tracks I was expecting on “Show Some Teeth”, the type that will find you in the middle of a circle pit, regardless of whether you wanted to be or not.  These are paired nicely with the softer (and I use that word loosely) songs of “Ricochet” and “Solace”, which is the sound that made me fall in love with him in the first place.  “Breathless” was easily my favorite track.  It was an elegant acoustic build-up that led into a gentle melodic drop.  This evolved from acoustic to electric with a heart-felt solo that continued to let itself be heard to the very end.  This album was as diverse as the skills that Sullivan King brings to the scene and more than I could have hoped for. 

I was also fortunate enough to see him in Phoenix, AZ at the Pressroom during his “THANK YOU FOR RAGING” tour, and it was a sight to see.  A seemingly never-ending mosh pit took place in the center of the crowd.  This was matched by long hair wildly wiping about as headbangers matched each note.  It was pure chaos, and it was beautiful.  While the show was amazing, really amazing, it was not what truly resonated with me that night.

After proving himself to be a true musician, the end of the night also allowed for Sullivan King to show that he is a class act guy.  When the show was over, he came out to talk to the fans that braved the rail all night long (as well as those of us who didn’t).  Every hand was shaken, every fist was bumped, and every selfie was taken for any who asked.  A particular fan was even left in awe and heard to say, “I can’t believe he actually signed my perler!”  Many artists seem to quickly disappear into the night after a show is over, but not Sullivan King.  He took the time to step out and really connect with his fans.  He understood that we sacrificed both time and money to be at his show, and he made sure it was properly recognized.  As the stages get bigger and the crowd sizes swell, I can only hope that Sullivan King continues to meet his fans as he has, even if for only a minute.

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*Featured Image Via Tony Cottrell*

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