Music » CD Reviews

Kingdom of Sorrow

Kingdom of Sorrow (Relapse)



Hardcore and classic rock used to be musical opposites. But it turns out that they can harmoniously co-exist in the same song. You can credit the unifying power of the almighty riff, which Kingdom of Sorrow — featuring Jamey Jasta, frontman for metalcore standard-bearer Hatebreed, and Kirk Windstein, guitarist for stoner-rawk all-stars Down — dutifully applies on its self-titled debut. Not so surprisingly, the album sounds as if it were made by the guy from Down playing guitar in Hatebreed. Drummer Derek Kerswill (who's done time in Unearth and Seemless) and bassist Matthew Brunson make up this side project's pile-driver rhythm section, and they pull Kingdom of Sorrow into a sweaty mosh pit in "Led Into Demise" and "Piece It All Back Together." Even longtime fans will find Windstein's riffing here more consistent than what he played on Down's recent Over the Under. The smoke-trail dirge "Grieve a Lifetime" certainly deserved a spot on that album. Handed that gem, Jasta gives his most impassioned performance ever, finally pushing his wounded-bear roar into an emotional range that goes far beyond his usual pissed-off indomitability.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.