Slipknot
and Gwar aren't the only metal bands that incorporate visual and theatrical elements into their image and their live shows. New York-based King Hell -- who combine elements of metal and funk in their music and who have a self-styled 'theatrical stage carnival' which features characters -- aren't worried about their act being considered a gimmick, even though it's easy for the outside observer to make that leap of faith.

"King Hell made a solemn promise to Rockulous, the god of heavy metal thunder, to forever put music first and tomfoolery a very close second," vocalist Samwell, who is protector of the world's most extensive Judas Priest album vault, told Noisecreep. "We're relentless in our quest to forge the finest riffs, hooks and rhythms ever to hammer the ears of man, and logged well over 1,000 hours writing, rewriting, un-rewriting, re-un-re-rewriting, becoming very confused and finally recording our new release 'Rhythm & Bruise.'"

King Hell have scored impressive, covetable gigs in their career, such as opening for the Misfits at their 30th anniversary show. So while King Hell treat their music seriously, it's the live element that's meant to get people moving -- and most importantly, having fun. Samwell continued, "Stepping out of the studio and into larger than life characters on stage is no gimmick: It's the ritual that recharges our superhuman powers of rocking the hell out. Foes of fun be warned: We will totally smite you with our two-horned anvil."

'Rhythm & Bruise' is available now.