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One King Down was an Albany, NY, based metallic hardcore band that played crunchy, danceable metalcore heavily influenced by such scene contemporaries as Snapcase and Earth Crisis.
The group formed in the mid-’90s, centered around the brotherly team of bassist Bill Scoville and guitarist Mike Scoville, along with guitarist Matt Wood and drummer Derrick Van Wie. With their original singer, they crafted a CD EP for Trainwreck Records, but it was with energetic frontman Rob Fusco, and Equal Vision Records (for whom Bill worked for a number of years), that One King Down really made their mark on the international hardcore punk scene.
The diminutive Fusco’s growl and lyrical espousing of the vegan straight-edge lifestyle (not all of the band’s members were vegans, or even vegetarians, but they were all drug-free) garnered them attention from all over the U.S. and Europe. Coupled with the band’s stop-and-go rhythms and dancefloor-moving heavy groove, Fusco’s vocals were put to tape for the Bloodlust Revenge EP, released by Equal Vision in 1997 and still regarded by most fans as the band’s finest recorded hour.
The group toured with Erie, PA’s Brothers Keeper and other bands, selling several thousand copies of the record at shows and through major independent distribution channels. They also released a split EP with Spirit of Youth through Europe’s Good Life Recordings.
Internal friction caused the ousting of Fusco shortly before the band was to embark on a national tour supporting Earth Crisis and Madball, to be followed by another trek with Hatebreed. One King Down scrambled to find a replacement, inviting then Burn It Down vocalist Ryan Downey to fill in for them. This union only lasted for two shows before the singer-less One King Down returned home to regroup. Eventually, they teamed up with Syracuse native Jon Peters, who lent his vocals to the band’s debut full-length album, 1998’s God Loves, Man Kills. After subsequent touring, Peters left the band and they split up for a short time. Mike Scoville auditioned for the Foo Fighters, but the job ultimately went to someone else.
One King Down re-formed and Fusco was eventually invited to rejoin. They played a few shows before Van Wie left the group, with Wood switching to drum duties as the Albany band pared down to a four-piece. One King Down released the Gravity Wins Again EP in 2000, a collection of newly penned songs together with older, previously recorded tracks. In 2001, after skipping an appearance at Syracuse, NY’s Hellfest, it appeared that the band was done once and for all.
– Ryan J. Downey (All Music Guide)