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King is Blind, The: The Deficiencies of Man

I wish I knew if this band's name was a deliberate reference to Oedipus the King. Remember him? He's the guy that famously solved the riddle of the sphinx but that also found himself the hapless child who married his mother and killed his father. He didn't know what he was doing, of course, but that didn't stop Freud from giving one of his most infamous complexes the name Oedipus. My point is that when Oedipus understood the true nature of his marriage he poked his own eyes out. The king, in other words, is blind.

Whatever the nature of the name, the cover art gives viewers no explicit help. Still, the image of a very medieval-looking human form in a state of partial decay is pretty awesome. Behind the figure, the picture depicts a scroll or banner with words on it. I am not sure what the words are or what they signify, but I'm guessing that they have to do with the larger tradition of memento mori, the need to remember that all human flesh must wither away and die and that nobody, not even kings or noblemen, are free from the ravages of time. Kings were sometimes blind to the idea of their mortality, thinking that, perhaps, they could avoid death. In that sense, the kind is also blind.

I'm not sure what the lyrics to the songs are, but the song titles draw out other layers of interesting themes, mostly death and decay. I'm most curious about "Of Osiris and Execration," particularly if the band is developing Egyptian themes or something else. I also loved the Biblical allusions running through all of "Revelation, Apocalypse." The music here only makes up about 16 minutes of material, but they were all very good minutes. I've already mentioned the various thematic layers lurking in the band's title, the cover art, and the song titles. The music adds to the strength of these themes by grounding them in heaviness, power, and passion. To me, the chief characteristic of the music is its relentless forward drive, as though the music cannot be contained. Check out "Thorns that Pierce the Skull" for a good example of what these guys can do.

For me, the best track on this release was "Revelation, Apocalypse." This song not only had a very cool lyrical take on the question of the end of days, but also had something like a groove going between the lyrics and the guitars. I loved the repeated use of "seven" in the line that begins "seven are the angels, seven are the trumpets" and so on. If this band wants to give us more songs like this, I'm ready.

Track Listing:
1. A Thousand Burning Temples
2. Of Osiris and Execration
3. Thorns that Pierce the Skull
4. Revelation, Apocalypse

Added: August 29th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1943
Language: english

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