Fit For A King Produces Heavenly Sounds on Hell We Create Tour

Fit For A King - Photo: Kyle Martin

Tampa, FL – Chaos reigns when Fit For a King comes to town: from the steady wave of crowd surfers spilling over the barrier, to the bass player playing on top of the bar, all the way to the chaotic final encore when opening band members swarmed the stage to wave traffic cones and play the kazoo. (Really)

The Hell We Create tour is technically titled after the Dallas metalcore band’s latest album, but it could be literally applied to the effects of the band taking the stage. Tampa’s Orpheum was the only Florida stop and close to the end of a months-long tour closing with a hometown show. 

Some bands burn bright on their debut then flicker out with time (Oasis comes to mind), while others continue to gain momentum, polish and professionalism with each new album. Fit For a King has demonstrated an incredible evolution, with every new album showcasing innovative ways to stay both brutally heavy and increasingly radio accessible. 

Every note and nuance of that progression was on display with this tour. The band front loaded their setlist to debut their new tracks beginning with the title track. The slow build made for a perfect walk-on song. 

The devastating breakdown that closes “End (The Other Side)” gave me world-class stank face the first time I heard it. Performed live it was even more devastating and it inspired the first of many of the night’s free-for-alls in the pit. Another track I was anticipating was “Falling Through the Sky,” with its soaring chorus and punishing breakdown. 

I started listening to Fit For a King in 2016 with Deathgrip and, at the time, I didn’t really see how you could top tracks like “Pissed Off,” “Stacking Bodies,” and the eponymous “Deathgrip.” This was around the time I first saw them live, too, and playing in tiny venues only seemed to fuel their hunger. Seven years later, “Deathgrip” retains its power even as the venues grow bigger. That long pause before vocalist Ryan Kirby’s final “Deaaath Grip” remains the breathless eye of a metalcore hurricane waiting to explode. 

The last FFAK tour to come through the Orpheum featured two albums exclusively to make up for touring time lost to the pandemic. This tour opened the setlist to some deeper cuts, which longtime fans like myself appreciated. Besides “Deathgrip” we also got “Bitter End” which definitely sparked some flashbacks. 

Some returning tracks from the Dark Path tour (from the albums Dark Skies and The Path) were “The Price of Agony” and “Vendetta.” One hole was personal favorite “Tower of Pain,” but the debut of “Reaper” from the Hell We Create more than compensated for that. Both, in my opinion, are some of the heaviest tracks Fit For a King packs in their arsenal. 

I have followed Fit for a King for a long time and I am so proud to see the payoff of all their hard work, with bigger tours and individual track streams breaking more than 20 million.


  • The Hell We Create
  • End (The Other Side)
  • Falling Through The Sky
  • Times Like This
  • Deathgrip
  • Vendetta
  • Reaper
  • Eyes Roll Back
  • Backbreaker
  • Reaching Out
  • Bitter End
  • The Price of Agony
  • What You Left Behind


  • When Everything Means Nothing
  • God of Fire

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Keeping FFAK company on the tour is an absolutely stacked lineup of openers. Second billed is Northlane, who have just about as long a scene history as FFAK. Their setlist leaned heavy on 2022’s Obsidian, opening with the three tracks “Clarity,” “Plenty” and “Echo Chamber.” The standout performance for me was “Bloodline.” 

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If you’re going to name your band “Alpha Wolf” you better back it up with some heat. Alpha Wolf delivers —- and then some. The Australians launched their set with “60cm of Steel,” with other highlights including “Hotel Underground” and “Bleed 4 You.” 

I don’t make this comparison lightly, but the last time I saw a crowd react this forcefully to a band was Kublai Khan TX. All of the tracks were insane, but the closest I’ve ever seen to a human feeding frenzy came from “Sub-Zero” and “Black Mamba.” 

Not nearly as violent but a huge win for the tour was Kingdom of Giants. The band only has one album to their name, but Passenger is absolute gold from start to finish. “Night Shift” and “Wayfinder” were the highlights for me.

Show Date: March 15, 2023