Saturday, March 24, 2018 19:51

Posts Tagged ‘Arckanum’


Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Arckanum - Den FörstföddeArckanum is dead. After delivering truly unique, visionary, chaos-gnostic Black Metal of the very highest calibre over a mere quarter of a century, Shamaatae has announced that ninth full-length, ‘Den Förstfödde’, will also be the last one. It’s sad news, indeed, as I love this record.

Even though it’s relatively simple and mid-paced and by no means progressive, there’s something extraordinary about ‘Den Förstfödde’. Showing the benefit of decades of experience, there is so much to admire here in the guitar sound, the production (although perhaps a little too ssss-y), the overall atmosphere and sense of menace. One hell of a parting shot.

There’s more crackles and pops on my copy than I’d ideally like but I guess that’s just down to bad luck. A true master of his darkened craft bowing out on the highest of highs. Long live Arckanum.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Must admit to being blown away by the scorching guitar sound conjured by Shamaatae on Arckanum’s eighth full-length proper, ‘Fenris Kindir’. The strings are like weapons; they sound like they could tear through flesh. They lend the album a truly searing, blistering quality which immediately elevates it into the upper echelons of recent releases.

I had pretty much given up on Arckanum after he parted company with Debemur Morti Productions (surely a mistake…) and landed the abysmally inadequate ‘Sviga Læ’ album, but ‘Fenris Kindir’ represents a definite return to form and can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of ‘Kostogher’ and ‘Antikosmos’ in one of Black Metal’s great canons.

All in all, this is a surprisingly-good album with plenty of variety, superb musicianship and undoubted quality throughout. No need to say any more, really.

Evilometer: 555/666

ARCKANUM – SVIGA LAE (Regain Records)

Friday, March 18th, 2011

After a decade of almost total silence, Arckanum returned to the studio in 2008 and unleashed the excellent ‘Antikosmos’, followed twelve months later by the equally-impressive ‘ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ’. These releases heralded the beginning of a new golden era for Shamaatae, who found himself in the middle of an unexpected career Indian summer. Those who missed the Swede’s magnificent triumvirate from the mid ‘90s were provided with the inspiration, motivation and opportunity to check into a stunning back catalogue of chaotic Black Metal from the ancient woodlands.

Arckanum could do no wrong. Then came ‘Sviga Læ’ in 2010 – his third full-length in as many years and one of my most-anticipated releases in a long, long time. I should have known better than to get my hopes up in this unpredictable, fucked-up world…

Alas, ‘Sviga Læ’ is a major disappointment, which doesn’t even come close to its predecessors. I suppose the writing was on the wall when I saw the dreadful artwork on the front of the CD but I decided to let that one go. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that.

The music itself continues in a similar enough vein to ‘Antikosmos’ and ‘ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ’, but (‘Goðin Eru Blekkt’ aside) doesn’t have the same high level of quality control. The whole thing sounds disjointed and rushed. There are more fillers than truly enjoyable tracks and the album clocks in at a rather embarrassing 37 minutes. Now, I realise ‘Antikosmos’ was as short but the music on there more than compensated for the brevity of proceedings.

On ‘Sviga Læ’, it just feels like shortcuts have been taken left, right and centre. The entire album looks, feels and sounds like a rush job. There’s no inspiration on this one. To the uninitiated, it may sound like a decent slab of BM but anyone already familiar with Arckanum’s exemplary track record to date would have to feel let-down by his sixth – and frankly worst – album.

Evilometer: 222/666