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ARCKANUM / SVARTSYN
ARCKANUM / SVARTSYN
Kaos Svarta Mar / Skinning The Lambs
(Carnal Records)
40:01min

The rather small yet upcoming underground label Carnal Records which also released e.g. the last ARCKANUM 7" and the split EP with CONTAMINO brings us its first CD release and wow... it is nothing less than an excellent debut! Featuring two long-time active Black Metal hordes from Sweden the chances for a success of this release could not be better... ARCKANUM deliver five new tracks sounding straighter and more traditional compared to the aggressive yet pretty weird wood troll music they did before. The songs are shorter and the tempo got reduced making the still existent riff melodies a little more catchy. I like it, but honestly spoken I had expected a bit more darkness, intensity and hate, ARCKANUM are a bit "tame" on "Kaos Svarta Mar" and fail to musically capture the sinister atmosphere the album's excellent artwork exhales. The strange "hoi"-shout in one song is even slightly ridiculous and puts ARCKANUM too much into that Pagan Metal department, which they certainly don't belong to you, right? "Kaos Svarta Mar" has its highs and lows, but due to the fantastic SVARTSYN side one has to buy this anyway... The songs offered here are among the best the band has ever released, the fast violent opener, the diversified mid-tempo track 'Furnace In Purgatory' and the almighty titletrack containing one of the greatest BURZUM-style riffs I've ever heard have a perfect sound (even the bass guitar is present), perfect atmosphere and are nothing but impressive Swedish Black Metal! The material is said to be recorded prior to "Destruction Of Man" (2003) and it is definitely stronger than what actually made it onto the album, the vocals sound more powerful and distinct and the apparent musical skills of SVARTSYN are adequately captured in an improved Necromorbus production. These songs are the real highlights of the split and you should not miss it, maybe you have to get warm with the ARCKANUM side, but you can not continue living without having heard that 'Skinning The Lambs' song... www.carnalrecords.se

Stefan Franke

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