DUSTED MAGAZINE

Dusted Reviews

King Cannibal - Let the Night Roar

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist



Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted


email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews


Artist: King Cannibal

Album: Let the Night Roar

Label: Ninja Tune

Review date: Sep. 29, 2009


King Cannibal - "So...Embrace The Minimum" (Let the Night Roar)


Thereís a certain exhilaration to the best grime rhythms that, mixed with the right atmosphere, serves as a statement of purpose. On the one hand, thereís an artist like Distance, whose beats are sharp but skeletal, drenched in a minimalist noir attitude that holds the listener at a (ahem) distance. The music doesnít engage, though thatís part of its charm. On the flip-side lie Milanese or Vexíd, whose rhythms are heavy, but seemingly intent on embodying domination, almost setting themselves up in opposition to the listener: "Can you take it?" Again, that can still produce great results.

The most effective, though, are those songs that feel like an invitation to come along and do some damage together, a call to arms in many ways much like protest music. Itís fitting that itís the combination of industrial sonics and dancehall rhythms, then, that make some of the songs on Let the Night Roar so exhilarating. Like an attack on the sci-fi present, Dylan Richards, a.k.a. King Cannibal, hits with an extremely strong debut LP.

Smartly sequenced, the strongest cuts bookend the album. After a brief introductory snippet, "Aragami Style" smolders for a deceptive 30 seconds before it comes in with growling bass synths and beautifully dark, heavy beats. Despite a couple of eerie, droning breaks, it doesnít let up or chicken out. The closer, "Flower of Flesh and Blood", lays down fast, complex percussion over a heavy, slapping rhythm and low-end synths that push constantly forward.

Most of the tracks are instrumentals, but thankfully those that arenít donít make the common mistake of sacrificing the music for the sake of the MC. "Virgo", featuring Face-A-Face, is the most traditional dancehall song, with frenetic chanting over clip-clopping beats and thick electronic blasts. On "Dirt," things get really fierce as Daddy Freddyís shouting nearly explodes amidst bass synth bursts and skittering percussion.

Oddly, the single "So... Embrace the Minimum" is perhaps the least distinctive of the albumís songs. While nicely done, itís clearly of a lighter weight, classic down-tempo dubstep. Itís perfectly fine, and may appeal to a wider audience, but it lacks the depth and the driving energy that imbues most of Nightís songs with their power. Even those that emphasize the atmosphere more than the rhythm usually donít hold back, whether it be the occasional vocal sample or chilled factory-floor ambience.

With this debut album, Richards has indeed dropped a call to arms. Let the Night Roar bursts with highly-charged songs that rank up there with The Bugís London Zoo as some of the best industrial dub on offer.

By Mason Jones

Read More

View all articles by Mason Jones

Find out more about Ninja Tune

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.