Thursday, January 3, 2013


Arckanum & Svartsyn - Kaos Svarta Mar/Skinning the Lambs
Carnal Records, 2004
Genre: Black Metal

Arckanum: Kaos Svarta Mar:
2. Eldkniver
3. Ætergap
4. Frana
5. Spitælsker
Svartsyn: Skinning the Lambs:
6. A Night Created by the Shadows
7. Furnace in Purgatory
8. Skinning the Lambs
9. Blåkullaförbannelsen

Side Svartsyn: here
Side Arckanum:

Hail the return of Arckanum.  It’s been quite some time since “Kampen” has been released and I must say that I am quite impressed.  I found “Kampen” to be an incredible disappointment in comparison to “Fran Marder” and “Kostogher.”  This small offering of new songs is quite incredible.  I think they are honestly better than the music portrayed on even the first two releases.  The Arckanum part was released as a Mini-LP called “Kaos Svarta Mar, also this year, and it is the only way to get the tracks separate from Svartsyn.  However, I would recommend you do not because the Svartsyn tracks are quite nice. 

Musically I found these songs to have more passionate guitar lines than the previous Arckanum efforts.  The songs were heavier and less folk oriented this time around as well.  However, at points they still had that melodic tone underlying most Folk Black Metal bands, but with a much darker overtone.  The production has also been increased a bit as well, though the songs could still be considered in that ever present “grim” style that fits Arckanum so well.  Shamaatae has also really taken his overall songwriting and musicianship to the next level. I really found the drums to be much more interesting than the previous works.  On the other albums the drums sort of just faded into the background, but on this they are right up front for the world to hear.  The vocals are also a lot more powerful and he’s gotten a lot better at layering his voice throughout the songs.  The song “Eldkniver” definitely has the catchiest solo on this whole split release, between both Arckanum and Svartsyn.  There are only a couple of minor nuances that bothered me about this album.  Most of the songs kind of trail off at the end, such as the drums will stop… then the second guitar… then the main guitar.  It’s really a minor problem, but I could see musicians having sort of an issue with it.  The other part is that he really should have just ended the album with “Frana” because after two minutes it goes into this strange creepy spoken word part.  I can’t tell whether it is an adult female or a female child, but it sounds really great with the ambiance in the background of the song.  It would have been the perfect ending, but he closed the album with “Spitælsker,” which was lacking in the creepy spectrum and just sounded alright.  A poor ending to the overall great works presented to its end. 

Overall this is a great split; the Arckanum tracks make this more than a worthwhile purchase.  Like I said above, the Svartsyn tracks are good, but what you really want is the return of Arckanum.  I’m really looking forward to a new full length, I hope he puts something together real soon because I would love to hear what material he has now based on hearing this.

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