Blood of Kingu

Sun in the House of the Scorpion

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Blood of Kingu's second album, 2010's Sun in the House of the Scorpion, once again fulfills its important role as an alternative creative outlet for the members of Ukrainian heavy metal band Drudkh (the two are essentially the same entity; different names; different styles), here bent on exploring their interests in Sumerian mythology and Egyptology. History buffs to a man, the four musicians responsible for this endeavor obviously take great pleasure in horse shoeing the terrifying tales of old into heavy metal's well-suited extremities -- as evidenced not only by the intriguing music within, but its evocative packaging, too. As a result, Sun in the House of the Scorpion is nothing less than an immersive musical experience; particularly once inexorably brutal and blastbeaten offerings like "Those That Wander Amidst the Stars" and "Ceremonies to Awake Thy Ageless Hate" give way to the truly inventive, ten-minute centerpiece, "Incantation of He Who Sleeps." This, and, to a lesser degree, the likes of "Cyclopean Temples of the Old Ones" and "Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness," is where Blood of Kingu really show off their imaginative range by melding the aforementioned black metal ingredients with a vast assortment of ulterior metallic hallmarks (even death metal growls), exotic percussion, sweeping atmospherics, and blood-curdling voices and whispered curses seemingly uttered by the long forgotten demons of Babylon themselves. At the end of the day, the entire enterprise still falls somewhat short of Drudkh's greater triumphs, it's true, but that's actually quite a compliment for one of this generation's most accomplished ensembles. And the fact that its members don't waste time touring behind their releases certainly explains how Blood of Kingu/Drudkh are able to produce such a large volume of work while maintaining the highest-quality standards.

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