Our first premiere of 2021! Today we’re proud to present “Shadow I’ve Become”, the latest single by Midlands metal band Underking. Inspired by sci-fi and fantasy, Underking is the one-man project of Maxwell Jeffries. The project brings classic heavy metal and NWOBHM into the modern era, with a twist of nerd lore in its lyrical content.
This latest song was inspired by Star Wars, particularly the expanded story of Darth Maul and Obi Wan Kenobi that unfortunately didn’t make into the head scratcher that is Episode I. But before I launch us into a galaxy far, far away, I’ll let you hear that single:
I think the most impressive thing about this song, and to a greater extent Underking’s output in general, is the vocals. Jeffries has this wonderful baritone that is equal parts soothing and commanding. The baritone register often has a tough time in hard rock and heavy metal, usually being boxed out by drop-tuned guitar riffs and high-energy drumming. This isn’t an issue for Jeffries – his voice through like a (ok, please don’t sigh too hard at this one) like a lightsaber tonton’s belly.
But good vocals aren’t the only thing that make for a great song. “Shadow I’ve Become” hook, line, and sinker with an unforgettable main riff, suspenseful verses, and catchy-as-all-hell chorus. It also helps that certain verse lines (“By the hand of an old enemyyy-y-y (ene-maaay)”) and the guitar solo are also super hooky. Sure, he probably could have gone for a shredfest of a solo here, but I think going the more tuneful route made for a more memorable guitar solo. But you probably don’t need my convincing of the song’s catchiness – I’m sure it’ll be stuck in your head too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this early listen as much as I have. Don’t forget to check out more Underking at the links below, and grab “Shadow I’ve Become” when it drops on the 29th!
Underking‘s new single “Shadow I’ve Become” will be released on January 29th. The single is set to appear on Underking’s third album, coming later in 2021.
Underking can be found on:
FFO: Trivium, Spirit Adrift, Khemmis