May 24th, 2010
Release length: 36:26
Blood of Kingu is a band that won’t be an acquired taste, but one that fans who enjoy more atmospheric elements in their metal will appreciate over others who just want to kick back with some straight forward Black Metal assaults, ewhichever generation they prefer. On this release, the band takes their time with their songs as far as the energy goes to set the proper surrounding. This is something you will notice right with the intro, which is fantastic in that it sets the tone of the album perfectly and gets the listener prepared for what is to come without drawing it out to the point where you’re lunging to skip forward. Instead, the track becomes a little more important to the album, much like the introductory chapter to a good novel that gives details pertinent to comprehending later elements, and feels less then whole if you skip over this less then one minute sample. AFter that, it’s just non-stop raw intensity blended perfectly with appropriately regioned music and deep gutteral vocals with a good amount of distortion to simply amplify the intensity of the music without going too over the top.
Many of the songs on here stem the typical time span for metal songs in the Black Metal genre, most being under five minutes. Many of the shorter tracks here are the faster ones of the album, and these really highlight how well the band works with their theme. “Cycloppean Temples of the Old Ones”, for example, works well int hat it keeps the atmosphere related to the lyrics perfectly, and doesn’t really stick to using a lot of vocals, but really fine tunes the music so that it’s well constructed, heavy, and doesn’t get boring, allowing the listener to slip away and even picture the insanity that goes with the lyrics. With the exception of “Guardians of Gateways to Outer Void”, this is essentially how the entire album is set up, just a non-stop assault from one track to another, all stemming from a slightly raw, but still heavy sounding production quality that captures the essence of the album very well, and actually gives it more of an edge. It’s impossible to picture “Those That Wander Amidst the Stars” or “Ceremonies to Take Away Thy Ageless Hate”, especially with the heavy ambience about half way through the latter, in a more digital and clear manner, as it would almost certainly take away from the overall sound.
However, the real cream of the crop with this release would be the ten minute plus song “Incantation of He Who Sleeps”. This track really is just impressive from the start. The band really relies on the music moreso then vocals or lyrics here, and it’s just intense from the start of the song until the more atmospheric slow paced almost tribal ending they put onto it. While the song itself isn’t as fast as others, like the following track “Guardians of Gateways to Outer Void”, the song is rich in the ambience it sets through the instruments, setting the specific tones for the right passages of the song, but never really slowing down to a boring pace. There’s plenty of diversity in the song too, and it all just comes at you with such intensity that it’s absolutely impossible to get bored of this mini-epic of a song. But, while this is more like a crowning achievement for this release, the closing is a little awkward.
The closing of Sun in the House of the Scorpion is a little odd in the fact that the album is pretty much flawless up to this point, and is set up nicely to close with the instrumental track “Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness”. However, while this instrumental closes the CD nicely, and clearly was meant as the final track of the release, the band decided to tack on another track to the official track list. If it were a bonus track, maybe even hidden, it would be great, but instead, the band does a cover of the song “Gate of Nanna”, which was originally performed by Berherit, and it’s just not worth being on this release at all. Musically, it sodesn’t really even fit into the ambience that the rest of the album sets, and tries to go with a more haunting feeling, but it’s just not as impressive. In fact it just feels hashed out and tacked on. The overall feeling of it comes off as more brutal then anything, being rather reminiscent of something Nile would actually do, and lacks all the inensity and unique musical traits that they incorporated into this Black Metal style, leaving the song sounding rather generic, and extremely out of place, pretty much ruining a great ending to a great album.
So, aside the closing cover track, there is absolutely nothing else wrong with this album. Sun in the House of the Scorpion is a fantastic instense album that really shines through amongst bands that use mythological ideas, such as bands like the aforementioned Nile, or even Melechesh, to portray an intense and emotional ride through Egyptian and related cultures. Don’t let the odd name sway you, as the band name is very suiting, actually stemming from Babylonian mythology as a god killed by Marduk, then had his blood used to make the earth, a reference also found related to the Necronomicon Exmortis. Sun in the House of the Scorpion is an intense ride that any fan of metal simply put in their collection.
01. Herald of the Aeon of Darkness (Instrumental) – 0:55
02. Those That Wander Amidst the Stars – 4:20
03. Cyclopean Temples of the Old Ones – 4:25
04. Incantation of He Who Sleeps – 10:24
05. Guardians of Gateways to Outer Void – 5:47
06. Ceremonies to Awake Thy Ageless Hate – 3:57
07. Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness (Instrumental) – 2:05
08. The Gate of Nanna (Beherit cover) – 4:23
|Overall Score: 9.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Records.