Hailing from Hungary’s Budapest, the duo Deposed King aren’t likely to be on your radar. How could they be? Armed with only a sparse Bandcamp page and a brand new Facebook page with 69 followers so far, they’re pretty much unknown. Which makes it all the sweeter to discover a recording as well developed and presented as “One Man’s Grief”. The material herein has been percolating since 2016 as main-man Daniel Kriffel and Dominique Király toyed with ideas and the impetus to record an album slowly came to form. Aside from a couple of other brief guest appearances, this duo finished the conceptual journey called “One Man’s Grief” on their own and the results are breathtaking.
This may be the shortest review I ever write because a track-by-track dissection would seem to miss the point. “One Man’s Grief” is best taken in as a whole, a world to completely immerse yourself inside of. Alternatively, even played in the background while doing work is a fulfilling and nourishing experience. Some adjectives I could throw at it would include: lush, cinematic, emotional, organic, mysterious and hypnotic. Probably the best comparison I could give is: Lunatic Soul meets ambient Opeth. If that sounds up your alley, just go purchase it on Bandcamp immediately, there’s no need to read any further.
In case you’re still curious, the album contains a mix of instrumental and vocal passages. They vocals are quite good, delivered in that Mikael Åkerfeldt kind of style. The instrumentation is even better, alternating between traditional prog-rock elements and more modern electronica. I hesitate to mention that the percussion is programmed lest that is a turn off but honestly you wouldn’t really know (or care) just by listening to it, so skilled are the arrangements. There’s folk, world and classical music here, along with ambient soundscapes and touches of metal. They even include a brief moment of growls which are some of the best usage of that form that I’ve heard. Really, the duo employs whatever would serve the song and take the listener on a journey. Although the ingredients are all familiar, the recipe is quite original.
The concept of the album, as told by its author, is: “We follow one man’s feeling and his path seeking along the journey. He wakes up in the woods in the morning, does not know how he got there, he knows he needs to keep going. During his journey a lot of things and thoughts are going through in his mind. At the end of his journey he reaches the ocean. It’s night, dark and endless, but also beautiful.”
In many ways, that’s the best way we could describe this album, too: dark and endless but also beautiful. And while the 56 minutes of running time may not be endless, it certainly does achieve a timeless quality that can stay on “repeat” for hours. Head on over to THIS LOCATION now and check out this sumptuous journey, it’s well worth your time.
Released By: Independent
Release Date: January 12th, 2023
Genre: Progressive Rock / Post Rock / Electronica / Ambient
“One Man’s Grief” Track-listing:
1. First Light 02:06
2. Caves 06:10 info
3. Endless Hours 06:14
4. Path of Forlorn 07:46
5. Half-Light 08:59
6. Fading Shadows 07:10
7. Sirens of the Sun 02:49
8. Ceasing to Exist 09:24
9. Last Light 05:11
Offering an engaging, brilliant concept album from an unknown duo based in Hungary, Deposed King is full of surprises. Ambient meets electronica meets classic prog meets world meets metal…if Mariusz Duda could do it, so could they. And they succeed convincingly.