Le Petite Mort is not your average, run-of-the-mill metal album. In fact, calling it a metal album at all might mean unfairly pigeonholing a piece of art that transcends any clear-cut genre classifications.
Certainly, the sophomore effort by Flint, Michigan’s King 810 falls on the heavier side of the musical spectrum, but it’s such a spectacularly diverse album that assigning it a particular label seems grossly unfair.
Make no mistake, Le Petite Mort is heavy as fuck, but the band isn’t afraid to show off their incredible versatility with slower numbers such as “Life’s not enough”, and the lounge number “Me and Maxine” which sounds like it might have been written by Nick Cave.
What makes the album particularly poignant, however, is the knowledge that singer David Gunn has actually lived the experiences that he sings about. A supremely gifted urban poet, Gunn tells stories of violence, poverty and death from a personal perspective and with such intensity that the listener finds himself transported to the frontlines of inner-city warfare.
One of the album’s more low-key offerings, “I ain’t going back again”, is a heartbreaking reflection on Gunn’s childhood in “Murder Town”, a moniker given to Flint on account of the city’s high homicide rate.
While the aforementioned track showcases the band’s more sensitive side, songs such as the devastatingly heavy “Alpha and Omega” and “Give my people back” prove that Gunn and Co. are as pissed off and dangerous as ever, much to the delight of their growing fan base.
In summary, Le Petite Mort is possibly the most dynamic and versatile metal album in recent years, and a magnificent outing from a band that isn’t afraid to push the limits. I recommend multiple listens.
Album art by Roadrunner Records – https://www.amazon.com/Petite-Mort-Conversation-God-Explicit/dp/B01IULF42E/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50700694