It will never cease to amaze me just how far-reaching metal has become on this planet. From countries we never expected to small towns within the unlikeliest of places to small islands, metal is a phenomenon that’s hard to get away from even if you try. Hawai’i may not be the last place to expect to find black metal, but it is certainly far from the top of the list. It’s in such obscurity that the one-man act of Kūka’ilimoku has been using as his base of operations for a slowly growing catalog for over a year now, and it’s his latest work that’s undoubtedly his best and his deadliest to date.
With just a runtime barely over 13 minutes, it’s hard to think that Kūka’ilimoku has really done anything massive across six tracks with not a single one of them stretching over three minutes. And yet, every one of them is a deadly piece that has a surprising diversity across the board with there being very little repetition in many different areas alongside the sheer raw power that’s on constant display throughout this second eponymous work. From the most lo-fi sound from the world of black metal, riffage that’s just as voracious as they are raw, musicianship that’s absolutely astounding given how short of a time Kūka’ilimoku has been around, and the infectious behavior that this album exudes in every note, there’s virtually nothing that’s been done here that isn’t truly astounding to listen to as Kūka’ilimoku immediately gouges its hooks into you in order to grab your attention instantly, and never once do they let go. It’s the exact sort of thing that by the time you come to the very quick end of this effort, you’ll be scrambling to hear more because Kūka’ilimoku not only makes this effort something that most any fan of black metal can get into but he also makes it addicting. It delivers on every level the likes of which that people are always scrambling for, and there’s no way to deny that Kūka’ilimoku’s sound is nothing if not extremely satisfying to absorb time after time.
The underground realm of black metal is a gift that just keeps on giving, and it’s at this moment that I feel it’s more than obvious to call Kūka’ilimoku an act that absolutely must be heard. Even if this is a name that will remain in the unchanging secrecy of the vast underground, I’d be more than happy with that because sometimes it’s with the best acts that actually deserve to be actively sought for.
LISTEN to “Kūka’ilimoku II” on Bandcamp here.