Released: 2009, Debemur-Morti
Reviewer: Alan Gilkeson
The last of the influential Arckanum mid 90's trilogy, KAMPEN may be a contender for greatest Black Metal album of all times. Alone in its amazing mixture of brutality and beauty, Shamaatae, the man who is the band Arckanum, blends textures, organic sounds, and powerful Black Metal riffing, a consummation of bloody proportions, seamless as a haiku. Swimming around underground circles for many years, finally a label is brave enough to invest the time and money to re-master and re-release the long lost, but not forgotten, Arckanum classics. Applause for Debemur Morti.
For the most part, the core elements of Shamaatae's style are preeminent... the dirty guitar sound, throaty growls, awkward use, or misuse of melody, and the echoed vocals, sort of sounding like 3 or 4 Shamaatae's yelling at once. More female vocals this time around, and it's hard not to love the mystic chanting effect of both the dirty and female vocals, especially on tracks #5 and #6. Ambience, spirit, and frightening moods prevail. The essence of Arckanum is the feeling of chaos combined with beauty, water running, birds chirping, then bam! All out war, the Goblins must be destroyed.
Most impressive is the guitar work, which sort of steps out of the realms of Black Metal's typical use of scales and dreary progressions. Shamaatae employs more of a Thrash riffing style, but it still has the repetitive and cold feeling. Never before or since has Black Metal captured all those things it claims to be... a story of misanthropy, of paganism and chaos, of opposition to those forces which destroyed the ancient cultures of Scandinavia. Arckanum screams all these things, not just in its ancient Swede lyrics, but in its sound, shouting moral nihilism yet intrinsic pulchritude.