|Review: Arkheth - IX & I: The Quintessence of Algaresh|
|IX & I: The Quintessence of Algaresh|
Label: Obsidian Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: November 13, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:IX & I: The Quintessence of Algaresh
Wow, this is a huge album. Arkheth are a band from Australia, and this is their second full-length. I use the term advisedly, as their debut was like 30 minutes long and supposedly recorded and mastered in like 7 hours; while this one is a double-disc album that is almost two freaking hours long all together. This is a huge leap forward in seriousness of intent as well as in time and effort invested, and it shows.
With all the songs except the intro piece over 9 minutes long, I have to admit I was skeptical in the extreme, but Arkheth managed to pull this off. Quintessence is huge, epic, and powerful – strongly reminiscent of later Graveland in places, also bringing to mind mid-period Enslaved with the sometimes progressive arrangements and atypical riffing. But really, this band manages to create their own sound and mood, with epic riffs and a deep production job that gives the music a lot of space. The vocals are a pretty one-note rasp, but they are well-employed, and don't overpower the music. Arkheth sound much more generic when they speed up, and so this album really soars when they slow down, forget about the vocals, and just give vent to the brooding, powerful guitar riffs that are the bedrock of this album.
On an album this long, I fully expected this band to go off the rails at some point, but despite excess this is a powerful, involving work of Black Metal. Not to be missed.
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