Sound — 10
This is the sound of the new era of black metal! KoK have been around for over 15 years, but few of those old school BM bands have dared to wander off from their raw, dirty, furious sound. Believe me, this still kicks rectum and could easily tear down a brick wall. But with flawless production, and even melody and progressive elements that borders to the theatrical, you're destined to be tagged a sell-out. Hardcore BM fans might moan about these blasphemous elements, but I'm sure they'll be humming on Crown of the Kings and banging their head when nobody's looking. There is no stand out track on this album, as they will all take your breath away, track after track battling each other off for your attention. The most "shocking" track might be The Black Uncharted with its acoustic intermission.
Lyrics — 9
As the album cover suggests, this album is filled with inspiration of war. Each song is a chapter in this story of "The Armada" and it's fight for power, drawing closer to the glorious victory in the last song, the title track. The lyrics are short, concise and a bit diffuse at times, but it's still easy to follow the story. Well done!
Overall Impression — 10
I'm very confident when I call this the new BM era. While keeping the spirit of old blackness alive, the raw, brutal anger and fury, they manage to incorporate so much more to their music without losing credibility. At the same time they make black metal a lot more accesible and with this album I'm sure they've gained a whole new generation of followers, not just for themselves, but to the whole genre. Thank you, brave vikings, for opening our eyes and broadening our minds!