Wednesday 11 October 2023

Purple Kong - Blood Lightning (Album Review)

Release Date: October 13th. Record Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Blood Lightning - Tracklisting

Village On Fire

Crowned In Ouija


Cocaine Pentagram

Major Arcana

Blood Lightning

Mount Kong


Last Man On Earth

Minor Arcana


Dr Tompson

Allan 'Enos'

Sylvy Styx


UK Doom/Stoner Metallers Purple Kong finally release their debut album Blood Lightning after releasing two crushing EP’s back in 2016 and 2018 respectively. This album takes the core essence of the UK Doom/Stoner Metal scene from over the last forty years or so with taking influences from bands such as Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, CONAN, and Cathedral but then merging with USA bands such as Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Monster Magnet for a record that aims HIGH and stays with that winning formula throughout.

Purple Kong bring a fuzzed up and blues rock attitude to their gloomy overall sound which is heard convincingly on the excellent opening tracks of Village Of Fire and Crowned In Ouija. With a more dominant Occult Rock attitude allowing Purple Kong breathing new sinister life into the genres they play on this album. Purple Kong stay perhaps in the WEEDIAN side of the coin with their grooves being quite melodic and violently aggressive with devilish vocals to match.

The tried & tested SABBATHIAN amplifier heavy sound is being played within its glory here but Purple Kong adds touches of Psych Rock which soon leads the album down a more sludge heavy path with distinctive epic guitar solos and down-tuned Ambient noises as well. 

Blood Lightning contains ten tracks with Purple Kong perhaps fully hitting their stride on the outstanding third track Obolus. As the tracks weaves a more daring style of music from the band which sees them finally play some stunningly original DOOMED OUT sounds of their own. The seedy atmosphere allows Purple Kong to have wicked fun with their creative output especially with the lyrics and demented instrumental jams that appear within this track alone.

When the fourth track Cocaine Pentagram appears then I’m fully sold on how Purple Kong will become breakout stars of the UK scene and this track proves that theory. As the opening soundclip makes you assume that a standard Proto-Doom Metal track will follow. However, Purple Kong inject classic WEEDIAN trippy jams and sludgy FUZZ bass lines for a more despairing style of full on Stoner Metal. The lyrics are quite deceiving with the shouts of “Cocaine Pentagram” coming from multiple angles. The song moves between classic 1970’s Doom Metal and the more free flowing 1990’s sonic based Stoner Metal for the standout track on the whole album.

Fifth track Major Arcana is a song that lasts for under two minutes and feels like Metallica are playing a Sonic based Thrash Metal assault on the Stoner Metal world. Add moments of Punk Rock and a dash of Speed Metal then Purple Kong once again showcase a different side to their music. 

The second half of the album allows Purple Kong to conjure up more seedier and hallucinogenic tales of Stoner based madness with a thunderous Blues Metal sound adapting superbly with the demented style of Doom/Stoner Metal mostly on tracks such as: Blood Lightning, Mount Kong, Hellbringer and Last Man On Earth.

The later stages of the album takes on a more apocalyptic based approach especially within the lyrics and how the vocals are delivered. Though, you can tell this from the song titles that appear within this part of the album. Purple Kong continue to add elements of Sonic and Psychedelic trippy energy with their bombastic style of full-on aggressive Doom/Stoner Metal.

Blood Lightning as a whole sounds wonderfully surreal with a more realistic and organic sound which is perhaps down to the excellent work by Wayne Adams who recorded and mixed the album with sublime mastering duties by Ade Emsely. This allows Purple Kong to deliver one of the most aggressive, thrilling and deliriously entertaining debut albums from the UK Doom/Stoner Metal scene this year and allow the band to truly make a name for themselves with this record alone.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Kong for the promo.

Blood Lightning will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Kozmik Artifactz from October 13th 2023.


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