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Review: Arkenstone - Hymns to our Fatherland
Hymns to our Fatherland

Label: A.M.F. Productions
Year released: 2006
Duration: 37:59
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: October 1, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Hymns to our Fatherland

Rated 5/5 (100%) (2 Votes)

Black metal bands have gone to many lengths to try to be the most low-fi and extreme ever, way beyond the use of 4-tracks with the treble whacked up to eleven, but I think Arkenstone have actually taken the biscuit, and frozen it into an icepop. I went on record a while back saying Striborg's earlier releases were possibly the most treble-filled and low-fi I've ever come across, however since adding 'Hymns to our Fatherland' to my collection, I believe Striborg have well and truly been usurped.

I swear to you, every time I listen to this release through headphones (even at a sensible volume I might add), I believe a small part of my hearing is eroded away forever. Similarities to having teeth drilled aside, Arkenstone play an ancient, filthy brand of black metal, which utilizes enamel-removing, treble-saturated guitars to maximum effect, ensuring to wear away those last few nerve endings in your ears. Throughout a couple of tracks, there's occasionally a use of a strange clean chorus effect on a second guitar which picks out notes in rhythms alongside the main guitar, but for the most part, it's a double impact of distorted mid-to-slow paced bleakness. Tzaboath's vocals are equally as harrowing, you can hardly pick out any lyrics at all through the over-distorted shrieks, bloodcurdling screams and howls of desolation.

Whilst this isn't exactly up there with the greats of black metal, I certainly found it kept my attention for more than a few spins thanks to the great dark ancient feelings it exudes, and the occasional interesting piece of riff structuring (not to mention the crazy over-blasting of trebly frostiness which just has to be heard to be believed). Not one for the black metal dabbler by any means.

Track Listing:
  1. Hymns To Our Fatherland
  2. Emperor, The Dark Lord
  3. From The Gates...
  4. The Wind Stands Silent (Judas Iscariot cover)
  5. Battle Lands
  6. The North Wind
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