Blood of Kingu – Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon (Season of Mist)

Tuesday, 16th September 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

The Ukrainian metal pecking order is like this: Drudkh, then everyone else. It’s an odd circumstance given that Drudkh never grant interviews, nor appear in band photos, which is the type of stuff that can only add to a band’s allure. Those unfamiliar with Drudkh (don’t feel bad – they’re black metal, okay?) may find some substance in the offshoot Blood of Kingu, who may be more on the extreme side of the fence, spare little when spewing forth sideways and brutal avant-garde black/death on their third album, Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon.

Lurking somewhere between the abyss-charmed pose of Portal and the stylized BM whirl of the various French bands of note (see: Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega), Blood of Kingu build their identity via combustible, highly mobile chord combinations played at a lightning fast-speed. Some of these jams even clip Nile during their heyday in the exotic extremity department, like on the excellent “He Who is Not to Be Named,” where dungeon drums and eerie moans work their way in amidst frenetic blasting. The un-harmonious blend found on “Enshrined in the Nethermost Lairs Beneath the Ocean” and In the Nightside Eclipse-inspired “Mother Hydra” have little trouble picking up blinding speed, allowing for Drudkh main dude Roman Saenko to get his full bellow from the depths on.

The one-pace-fits-all charge of Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon might be its only drawback. The tempo meter rarely fluctuates from its combustible BPM level, but then again, there are plenty of those around who find value in black metal with little regard for tempo dynamics. Therefore, Blood of Kingu have succeeded in creating a blustery, highly obtuse offering of black metal tinged with death, proving that the Ukrainian metal scene is in the right hands with these gents, and some of their conspirators.

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