2021 Best of Metal: #2 King Buffalo-The Burden of Restlessness

Origin: Rochester, NY

Release date: 6/4/2021

Personnel: Sean McVay-vox/guitar, Dan Reynolds-bass, Scott Donaldson-drums

This is how it’s done. Simply a perfect example of a perfectly put together stoner album. This album has hooks for days and the repetitive use of these hooks within the songs will serve as a perfectly vehicle to worm themselves firmly within your brain. King Buffalo, along with Elder, represent the best practitioners of this sort of jam band stoner metal. It feels like they have crafted their definitive statement with The Burden of Restlessness. Masterpiece level shit right here.

5 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:

2. King Buffalo-The Burden of Restlessness
3. Mastodon-Hushed and Grim
4. Gojira-Fortitude
5. Tribulation-Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
6. Dream Theater-A View From the Top of the World
7. Exodus-Persona Non Grata
8. Khemmis-Deceiver
9. Carcass-Torn Arteries
10. Omnium Gatherum-Origin
11. Be’Lakor-Coherence
12. Hooded Menace-The Tritonus Bell
13. Quicksand-Distant Populations
14. Harakiri For the Sky-Maere
15. Converge and Chelsea Wolfe-Bloodmoon: I
16. At The Gates-The Nightmare of Being
17. The Vintage Caravan-Monuments
18. Nervosa-Perpetual Chaos
19. Baest-Necro Sapiens
20. Agrypnie-Metamorphosis

King Buffalo-The Burden of Restlessness

Yes!!! YesyesyesyesyesYES!!! This is the goddamn album I’ve been waiting on all year. The year in metal has felt a bit underwhelming so far. To be sure, there has been some decent material released this year, but on the whole, there hasn’t been a lot that has completely captured my imagination. Hell, if you’re a regular patron of this site, you’ve probably noticed a dearth of output on my part. The thinness of the music being put out so far is a big reason why. I just haven’t been inspired to write about much of what has been released so far.

I’ve dug King Buffalo for quite a few years now after seeing them open up for some other band a while back. I don’t even remember who they were touring with, but they made an impression as being a cool little trio. They’ve always been a little on the spacey side of stoner/psychedelic rock. This latest release feels like their definitive musical statement up to this point in their career. There is a driving intensity and a sense of urgency on this album. Their past albums tended to focus on songs that would deliver a slow burn that start out super mellow and build to a rocking crescendo. This latest album feels like the preludes have been dropped and they are just jumping right into the meat of the proceedings. This is one of those albums that will make you want to pull on your denim jacket, light up a Marlboro and throw your devil horns in the air. Just a pure slab of innovative guitar riffs and rocking good times.

OK, metal world. You’ve been put on notice. The bar has been set and it is fucking high. King Buffalo has finally grabbed it’s throne and is daring you to knock them off. Good luck.

Oh, and by the way, they are supposed to release two more albums this year. Dudes weren’t sitting still during the pandemic shutdown. I’m going to be floored if the other two are as strong as this one.

5 flip flops out of 5