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Faith No More - King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime review


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Band: Faith No More
Album: King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime
Release date: March 1995

01. Get Out
02. Ricochet
03. Evidence
04. The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
05. Star A.D.
06. Cuckoo For Caca
07. Caralho Voador
08. Ugly In The Morning
09. Digging The Grave
10. Take This Bottle
11. King For A Day
12. What A Day
13. The Last To Know
14. Just A Man

Faith No More are often credited with making two classics albums in their career; the prior two records The Real Thing and Angel Dust are rightly seen as two of the best albums in the genre of metal. I disagree with this however, as I believe the band's magnum opus is this album, King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime (or KFAD from hereon) and that the band have three of the best albums in metal. Featuring some of their best material, the boys continue the roll they were on quality-wise. if not success-wise.

KFAD does alter the band's formula slightly from the prior two records; whereas on prior albums, individual tracks were genre-bending experiments in each little sonic package, KFAD maintains the experimental nature over the album but leaves the individual tracks to (roughly) one genre. Whereas Angel Dust did heavy metal with "Malpractice", which went on some fun tangents, KFAD is more straightforward in comparison with tracks like "Digging The Grave"; they scratch the same itch, but on this album, the band keep things more concise.

The jazzy "Evidence" is a smooth five minutes that makes you feel like you are in a smokey jazz café watching the band. "Digging The Grave" and "The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies" show the band's feet are still in the metal genre. "What A Day", "Ugly In The Morning" and "Cuckoo For Caca" are evidence that Patton is certifiably insane. Probably the cream of the crop here though are the title track and "Just A Man", showing the band were masters of whatever they decided to put their hands to.

I won't dwell on the band's performance except two asides, as anyone who has listened to Faith No More know their talents speak for themselves. The replacement of Martin for Spruance is a hard comparison to make; owing to the change up in formula, a like-for-like comparison is unfair to both men. Spruance does an admirable job and is more than capable at the different styles he is tasked with playing on the album, which is a huge bonus owing to the guitar-centered focus of much of the album. The second aside is Mike Patton; this album is by far and away his best vocal performance of his career, showcasing the bafflingly wide variety he can pull off almost seamlessly, from the soft and gentle "Take This Bottle" through the throat-destroying "Ugly In The Morning" to the soaring barrier breakings of "Star A.D." and "Just A Man". The fact that he is often forgotten as one of the best singers in music, let alone metal, is a massive oversight.

While the album doesn't have any bad moments, it does at times make you miss the sonic experimentation of old, especially after "The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies", which comes close to the sound of old. While I wouldn't want it forced into any of the tracks, it would have been beneficial to have one or two additional tracks that were in this vein to make the album complete.

While I'm sure many will disagree with KFAD being ranked alongside The Real Thing and Angel Dust, what I think is harder to argue is that KFAD isn't full of quality; from start to end, the band show that even at their less popular moments they're just as good, if not, better than before.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by omne metallum | 06.06.2020

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 16 users
21.06.2020 - 00:28
This is indeed so overlooked compared to the previous two records. Plenty of bangers on this one.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
21.06.2020 - 14:15
This album was not overlooked at all when it came out; we all thought it was dope as fuck. Angel Dust is clearly the band's magnum opus but The Real Thing and King For A Day don't fall far behind. If King For A Day seems to come third in terms of fans' preference it is probably because The Real Thing was just way ahead of its time and Angel Dust was full of great tracks throughout. When they dropped this one they were an accomplished band, the album's high quality was no surprise. Only FNM can put "Ricochet" / "Evidence" and "Digging The Grave" / "Take This Bottle" back to back on a record and still sound freaking awesome.

Very good review by the way. Spot on.
21.06.2020 - 14:49
JoHn DoE

I haven't listened to FNM and this album in quite a while, I need to change that. This is a solid album.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
11.11.2020 - 23:36
Rating: 8

Really good record, with some great moments. Not "Angel Dust", but a really great work nontheless.

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