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Ninkharsag - Blood of Celestial Kings

Blood of Celestial Kings
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 24 April 2015, 11:07 PM

NINKHARSAG is an Ancient Black Metal band based out of Liverpool, England, considering themselves to be part of the Second Wave of Black Metal. “Blood of Celestial Kings” is the band’s first full-length album, and contains nine tracks. “The Sicarii” is the opening track. Gloom, despondence and hopelessness heavily salt the air, and the chord progressions go darker and deeper, as the main riff continues. The vocals are high in pitch but have a more hearty quality to them at times, as well. “The Essential Salts of Human Dust” has a more hastened pace and some nice twin guitar harmonies, as bright as they can be considering the backdrop of evil and anguish. There are some more accents hit here rhythmically, that keep a more discernable song structure. “Destroyed by Design” has a similar pace and sound. Like something lurking under muddied waters, there remains an element of mystery and suspense that is always present as the track moves along briefly, clocking in at under two minutes. The title track, “Ninkharsag,” has a more furious and organic sound and features a soft and moving acoustic interlude about half way through. I enjoy the texture that this provides to the track. The vocals are at an all-time brutal level, sounding aggressive and tortured. “Pastoralis Praeeminentiae” kicks up the evil another notch. Perhaps the most expressive song on the album, it is deep and dark in its delivery and leaves you scared for your life. “Iron Wolves” closes the album, the longest song here, clocking in at the six minute mark. The guitar harmonies and pounding rhythm section give the track much haste, and it has a regal quality to it, much like a king of an undead army calling his troops to war. I find this to be pretty traditional Black Metal in many ways, staying true to the genre and sound. You won’t find some of the common elements of long atmospheric passages near the mid-point in each song as found in the genre, longer ten-minute songs, or a lot of variation from track to track. Instead, it is clear that the band has honed their sound tightly on this first release. I think though, there is room for more variegate here that might really bring the band the life within the genre.

3 Star Rating

1. The Sicarii
2. The Essential Salts of Human Dust
3. Liber V Vel Reguli
4. Destroyed by Design
5. Ninkharsag
6. Tartarus Unbound
7. Pastoralis Praeeminentiae
8. Dawn of the Age of Aquarius
9. Iron Wolves
K.R.N. - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
P.A. - Lead Guitar
J.P. - Drums
S.C. - Bass
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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