Koen S. : The Belgian black metal band Saqra’s Cult releases its second album ‘The 9th King’. Their demo ‘Initiation To Forgotten Rites’ from 2015 was an instant hit, but there was still some work to be done to improve the unpolished black metal of these guys and with their debut 'Forgotten Rites' in 2017, it became clear that we were dealing with a unique band with a pretty unique concept. Saqra's Cult was co-founded by Gabriel Tapia, an artist from Ecuador, and in their search for distinctiveness and own identity, he started to use The Inca culture in the writing and composing of material for the band. On the demo that influence was not that big yet, but on the debut full length it was remarkable. They continue in this direction of black metal inspired by the ancient Inca's Cults on 'The 9th King', although Gabriel is not a full member of the band anymore. He still takes care of all the artwork and writes lyrics and music for his comrades.
The new album is another step forward. The dissonant guitars have become the striking trademark of Saqra's Cult. Speaking of which, guitarist S.Iblis is also active in the black/death horde Possession. 'The 9th King' is one big Inca ceremony with four individual rituals that are one entity Therefore it is preferable to listen to the album in its entirety. Comparisons with other bands are hard to make, but if I had to, I would say this is a cocktail of Rotting Christ, Inquisition and Enthroned. The emotional and hypnotic style of Rotting Christ, the dissonance and sinister feeling of Inquisition and the aggressiveness and atmosphere of Enthroned's 'Prophecies Of Pagan Fire' mixed with their own sound. The mixing and mastering was done by Jeremy Bézier, known as musician in Emptiness and Enthroned and sound engineer on albums by, among others, Khthoniik Cerviiks, Possession, Necrowretch,, Lvcifyre and Ævangelist.’The 9th King' is a well-crafted, solid and original black metal record that can be bought by just about every black metal fan.