The long awaited To Kill A King debut album is finally upon us in the form of Cannibals with Cutlery. It opens with the beautiful ballad-esque ‘I Work Nights And You Work Days’; we are introduced to the album by Ralph Pelleymounter’s brilliant baritone vocals, enough to give you goosebumps. This song in particular has a distinct strings section that makes it epically beautiful. The second track is one that most would know already after being played on the likes of Radio One and XFM: ‘Cold Skin’. It is the first single from the debut and it definitely sums up all the greatness that To Kill A King have to offer. It has an insatiably catchy chorus that a lead single requires yet it isn’t glossed over by high production. It is still relatable and raw; something that keeps To Kill A King in touch with their listeners.
‘Funeral’ and ‘Wolves’ are next up. Both songs appeared on the band’s Word of Mouth EP that they released back in July 2012. ‘Funeral’, despite the name, is a fabulously upbeat track with a spine-tingling guitar opening. The album’s title track ‘Cannibals with Cutlery’ is a beautiful track consisting of Ralph’s superb vocal ability and lyrics. ‘Gasp’ is a song that is completely new to listeners. It’s echoing opening is a brilliant contrast to the orchestral sections that follow. The song ebbs and flows between the almost silent moments before hitting back with a forceful segment to demonstrate the power of To Kill A King. It’s definitely one of my favourite tracks from the record. Ralph keeps you hanging on to his every word as the tempo slows towards the end of the song, you’re simply waiting for the instruments to come back again with a vengeance.
‘Choices’ is already a live favourite amongst To Kill A King fans, especially with Dan Smith from Bastille joining them on stage on many occasions and even on stage at their slot at Bestival 2012. Which was a highlight of the festival and a personal favourite rendition of the track. It also appeared on the YouTube series: Ralph’s Balcony Sessions where the band are accompanied by many of their musician friends to perform the track. On Cannibals with Cutlery we hear the original track. We can now experience ‘Choices’ in all it’s simplicity and beauty. Hearing Ralph Pelleymounter sing the words we’re used to hearing from others, whether it be Dan Smith or Emily Wood, it’s fantastic and incredibly simple.
‘Rays’ is heard in all it’s recorded glory and is just as spectacular as when heard live. Perhaps my favourite To Kill A King track (I have a new favourite upon every listen) has to be ‘Fictional State’. It’s a track that’s been around for a while now and still astounds me with it’s brilliance. If you were to listen to any of their tracks I would urge you to choose this one. For me, the lyrics add a whole dimension that is often missed in music. Along a very similar vein is the track ‘Family’. It’s slow start eases the listener gently into Ralph’s storytelling. Again, lyrics stole the show on this track and are executed perfectly by Ralph. This brilliant debut finishes on ‘Letters To My Lover (The Dylan Fan)’ which is a beautiful track to hum-along to (give it a listen and you’ll know what I mean).