Arckanum – Sviga Læ

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Full-length, Regain Records, 2010

Formed in 1992 in Mora, Sweden, Arckanum’s sole member Shamaatae has just released his sixth full-length since 1995. Arckanum’s music has gained more and more popularity over the last few years, with the release of 2008’s Antikosmos and 2009’s ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ. Both albums, highly respected by both fans and critics, have put Arckanum back to the forefront of black metal, and for good reason. For those who have yet to hear anything by this artist, it could be described as well-crafted and properly produced black metal, usually played in a mid-pace tempo. For anyone who’s heard Shamaatae’s last two albums and enjoyed them, you can go on right ahead and get yourself Sviga Læas it doesn’t feature any drastic changes from said albums.

To be perfectly honest, Arckanum’s music can be aptly described as memorable. Every song bears a sort of hypnotic anthem-like quality which upon the early listenings can seem like it will fade away quickly, but as is the case with albums of this type, the individual tracks end up growing on the listener and meaning more and more after each listen. For instance, In Følva Felr may at first seem like a song that will only be appreciated upon the first listen, but after a few spins you can notice that it bears this undefinable quality, which ultimately makes the song become memorable.

However, this isn’t the type of album I’d listen to hours on end. As someone who enjoyed the two previous albums but didn’t become obsessed with them, I’d have a hard time telling which tracks are on this album and which tracks were on last year’s ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ . Listeners who love this music to death will most likely feel different about this, but as someone who just appreciates the music, that’s how it is.  Still, Sviga Læ is a properly executed black metal album which, if you haven’t heard Arckanum yet, will have you wanting for more. In terms of production and guitar tone, Satanic Warmaster comes to mind. It’s something about the type of riffs to the distorted guitar, which to me are very reminiscent of SW. I found the clean closer Røk to be quite dull and uninspired, but the other 34 minutes of this album are pretty much in the vein of…other Arckanum albums.

That’s pretty much the jist of it: if you already know and like Arckanum, then go right ahead. If you don’t know them yet and like mid-paced black metal in the vein of Satanic Warmaster and the likes, get this or any of the past two albums. It’s properly executed, well-written and perfectly produced, and contains all the essential elements that make an album enjoyable.

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