|Review: Arckanum - ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ|
Label: Moribund Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 31, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (35 Votes)
Fifth full-length for Arckanum, and apparently they don't want us to be able to pronounce its name. ;) Nothing pretty here – the Swedes playing a mix of raw, old school (early 90s) Black Metal mixed with a very heavy dose of atmosphere. It's bleak, cold, filled with a feeling of despair – this last point accentuated by the vocals which really sound lost and tortured (as in mentally.) Those get the job done for the most part, but at the same time they're the low point of the album, with little variation and, let's just say it, after a few listens they can get on one's nerve – of course, your mileage may vary on this one.
Musically is where ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ shines. Gimmick-free, basic unpolished Black Metal varying from mid to fast-paced. Sometimes a little too up-beat, which kind of clashes with the overall dark, desperate feel of the album, but at least – and strangely - such songs do not clash too much with the rest. Arckanum have come up with a good balance of more "rocking" numbers and atmospheric, bleak songs with this one. It's pretty simple, folks: If you're into early 90s raw Scandinavian Black Metal with a good dose of dirty, bleak atmosphere, then ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ is a safe bet.
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