Blood Of Kingu - De Occulta Philosophia
Supernal Music
Black Metal
9 songs (28:16)
Release year: 2007
Supernal Music
Reviewed by Goat

It’s an odd experience listening to this band, the generally ignored new brainchild of Drudkh and former Hate Forest mainman Roman Saenko. When word of the project first filtered through the general Internet consciousness, you’d expect the legions of Drudkh fans out there to be rejoicing on the street. After all, not every day does word come through that the Ukrainian Aryan-obsessed legend that is Hate Forest had returned, albeit for a new direction: Sumerian/ancient Egyptian mythology. Not just are the commercially unpalatable ideologies of before absent, but the suggestion of a more Eastern-influenced sound is intriguing indeed.

No doubt by now your eyes have fallen across the above details, and the EP-length of this debut ‘full length’ has become plain. It’s all very well for Grindcore bands to be proud of the brevity of their songs, but for a Black Metal band, where the very fabric of the music is its hypnotic qualities, this is too short. No-one’s suggesting that Black Metal albums have to be over seventy minutes long before they’re any good, but in these modern days when it’s nice to get a bit of bang for your buck, there’s no reason for bands to produce woefully short pieces of music like this and market them as albums.

Of course, if the music itself was the greatest exploration of post-Euronymous blasphemistics ever put to disc, then it’d be worth buying in any case. This is where De Occulta Philosophia hits its first, major, and ultimately fatal barrier: it’s not that good. Hate Forest was in existence since the turn of the decade, giving even the most slow-to-catch-on Black Metalhead out there time to catch on. The formula just isn’t new, isn’t great anymore. Those who - admittedly like myself - were expecting something perhaps more akin to Nile will be disappointed. Blood Of Kingu is the same, lightning-paced, neo-ambient riffed Black Metal that Roman has always made. If you’re being finicky you could argue that this is Hate Forest meets Drudkh, but it’s pushing things somewhat.

Crushing, crushing disappointment then, and this isn’t helped by the fact that the most overtly Eastern tracks on De Occulta Philosophia are the into and interludes, Incoarika Incognita, Slaughter Of Shudras and Vajtarani to name them. Although the former (the intro to the album) has some interestingly mystic horns, the latter two consist of nothing more than bog-standard ‘let’s hit some bongos’ percussion and are, respectively, forty-five and fourteen seconds long. It speaks volumes that the best song on offer is the longest one, the one given most time to breathe: the five-and-a-half-minutes of Lair Of Night Abzu, which positively writhes with the melodic riffing that Drudkh fans know and love.

However, given time the album does prove itself not a complete waste of money, especially since the general brevity of most of the songs means that if you’re not paying careful attention you could miss the effort that’s been put in here. Vocals are mostly chanted, the production rendering them quieter than the guitars much of the time, and as much of Roman’s work the riffs sound more like an ancient organ a lot of the time – both of which do give off a strange atmosphere. If you’re new to Hate Forest or Drudkh then you should certainly give Blood Of Kingu a listen if you’d rather not associate yourself with Hate Forest’s subject matter or are put off by the length of some of Drudkh’s compositions. Hopefully Roman will take a few more risks with the next release from this project - he’s proved beyond all possibility of doubt that he can make lightning-fast Burzumic Black Metal and do it well, now let’s have the next step forwards, please.

Killing Songs :
Mummu Tiamat, Lair Of Night Abzu
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Blood Of Kingu that we have reviewed:
Blood Of Kingu - Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Blood Of Kingu - Sun In The House Of The Scorpion reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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