Thy Kingdom comeback once again this month for the 3rd installment of the royal, historical release saga that is their Kpop career.
As some of you may recall, we covered their debut with the epically titled Excalibur back in May this year. It turns out that we were barely dipping a toe into the vast lake that is Kingdom’s planned concept. Since their first single and mini-album dropped, Kingdom have made their first comeback with Karma and have recently made their third come with “Black Crown”, the lead single from the mini-album “History of Kingdom: Part III. Ivan.”
If you’re spotting a pattern here with the naming conventions of the albums, you’re not the only one. Fans are beginning to see the plan for Kingdom take shape, and thankfully, neither the group nor their company appear to be shying away from making that clear.
But before we continue, we fittingly need a little history. Kingdom was a group birthed in the middle of the idol group survival show of the same name. Many at the time thought this was a terrible idea, others thought it was genius. Either the name would be overwhelmed by the content of the survival show, or it would bring in potential new listeners who stumbled across the group by association. Whichever side of the fence you may fall on, the name didn’t stop Kingdom from making a small mark with their debut. Because whilst they may not have been unique with the name, they certainly made a name for themselves with their concept.
We’ve had several concept heavy groups over the years, both male and female, who have regaled us with highly themed music videos and choreography, or intricately interconnected stories that inspired fans to take up their detective personas. Kingdom have followed these ideals and poured all they have into their concept – that of portraying historical and fantastical kings of the past.
Their first release, “Excalibur” focused on group member Arthur, who takes the name of the English king of legend. Their second, “Karma” shone a spotlight on Chiwoo, inspired by the mythological Emperor Chiyou of China. And now, following suit, comes “Black Crown”, with Ivan at the centre. The song is as grandiose as ever, opening with a full male choir and a slightly unsettling melody on the chimes, whilst the music video showcases decadent sets dusted in falling snow, a nod to the inspiration for Ivan’s character – Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible.
Not only this, but each member holds dominion over their own kingdom; the kingdoms of Rain, Cloud, and Snow for Arthur, Chiwoo and Ivan respectively. Next up is Dann, who is rumoured to be representing Dangun of Korea based on the short teaser shown at the end of the “Black Crown” MV. As the leader, it seems quite fitting that he should be representing the one Korean king in their lore.
By the time they wrap up their first act detailing their history, Kingdom will have a comeback centred around each of the seven members. It’s a great way to make sure that every member has a focus, allowing fans (officially named Kingmakers) to really see their worth. Beyond this series though, their future is unknown. It’s an ambitious undertaking, one that might see them struggling to experiment in the future. But if anything is certain, Kingdom have launched out of the gate with a solid foundation and an identity that sets them apart from other rookie boy groups.
If you want to get to know them a little better, head to their YouTube channel where they post regular behind-the-scenes videos and additional content. We could be looking at some new concept princes here in the years to come. Let’s wait and see if they want to take the crown of concept kings from groups like VIXX!