• 8.8/10
    KING KRAKEN - MCLXXX - 8.8/10


Label: Independent Release
Release date: January 23, 2023

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Metal outfit King Kraken hailing from South Wales, UK, is set to unleash their first full-length album, MCLXXX on January 23, 2023. MCLXXX is produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Those Damn Crows, Inglorious, Motörhead) and is coming ashore worldwide as an independent release.

Release the KRAKEN!!

King Kraken is a five-piece band from South Wales, UK, formed in 2018. The band consists of Mark Donoghue (vocals), Pete Rose (rhythm guitar), Karl Meyer (bass), Adan Healey (lead guitar), and Richard Mears (drums). Since its inception, King Kraken has been constantly playing gigs across the UK and Bloodstock, and Hard Rock Hell (the annual Metal music festival in the UK). In 2019, King Kraken released a self-titled EP. Other highlights include coming 3rd in Hard Rock Hell: Highway To Hell 10, their track “Freak” became the most played song on HRH Radio in 2019, and made the finals of Bloodstock Metal 2the Masses in Cardiff 2019.

Band Bio

Mark has been in many cover bands since the 1990s where he developed his guttural and etchy style of vocals. Mark’s influences include Black Label Society, Rob Zombie, and Metallica. Pete has played in many bands in the South Wales scenes since the late 1990s. Pete has been credited as the creator of King Kraken to fulfill his drive for a band with focus, fiery hooks, and excitement.

Karl has been playing in successful covers bands in the Swansea area for the last ten years and is also known as the “riff meister” of the band. Influences include the heavier side of Metal noting bands such as Slayer and Sepultura. Adam has enjoyed success with Ataraxis Vibration and Pilgrim over the years. Adam’s influences include Classic Rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and guitar gods Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Richard has been playing drums since the age of 14 honing his skills with original and cover bands from the local circuit. Richard’s influences include Pantera, Slayer, Clutch, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.


MCLXXX is the year (1180) of the first-ever sighting of the Kraken, yet in 2023 King Kraken’s first full-length album drops upon us with a ten song platter with a runtime of 47 minutes. “Devil’s Night” is a mid-tempo Rocker that opens with a deep heavy bass riff followed by heavy and chunky guitar riffs. King Kraken delivers an album full of heavy riffs, and tempo changes. “Bastard Liar,” “Chaos Engine,” and “Walls of Jericho” have a unique blend of heavy riffs and add a touch of melody.

MCLXXX is chock full of heavy riffs, and guitar solos that soar with technical ecstasy. Vocals will be reminiscent of Clutch’s Neal Fallon but Mark puts his style and delivery on this album. Romesh Dodangoda nailed the production on MCLXXX as the mix is nearly flawless. Every player in the band is well-balanced and perfectly timed across all of the songs. Each song has its own feel and does not feel repetitive. The different influences of each member show throughout the album with a heavy influence of Clutch and Black Sabbath. Adam’s virtuose guitar solos reign heavily through each song on MCLXXX.

The lyrical themes on this album are a dark subject matter from horror and sci-fi films. “Veins,” tells a tale of a drug addict who dies. “Haddonfield 78,” is a song about serial killers.

Final Thoughts

For fans of heavy grooves, chunky riffs, and great guitar solos, MCLXXX is a must-have for your collection.


Mark Donoghue – Vocals
Pete Rose – Rhythm Guitar
Adam Healey – Lead Guitar
Karl Meyer – Bass
Richard Mears – Drums


  1. Devil’s Night
  2. Bastard Liar
  3. Green Terror
  4. Veins
  5. Haddenfield ’78
  6. Man Made Monster
  7. Walls Of Jericho
  8. Proctors Lodge
  9. Chaos Engine
  10. Castle Of Bone


  • Mark Zagotti

    Mark is a reviewer for Metal Express Radio since 2022. He first discovered the power of Hard Rock in 1985 as a teen when he first listened to Twisted Sister's cassette Stay Hungry. In his teen years, Mark was introduced to bands such as Kiss, Metallica, and enjoying the time that Rock and Metal ruled MTV. His first Heavy Metal concert was Clash of the Titans in 1991, where he experienced the site of a SLAYER mosh pit for the first time. Ever since that moment he has been a METAL HEAD for life. Mark's musical tastes have expanded over the years enjoying music from bands ranging from Ghost, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, the Big 4, Behemoth, and just about everything in between.    

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