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Released: 2016, Power Prog Records
It took me a while to wrap my head around this album. ENTANGLED is the debut album by a new Swedish band called Arctic Void. Being from Canada, I like the band name!
Formed from a previous band Earthrise this sextet brings many diverse influences into a complete package that is quite interesting. The 11 song debut runs for about 40 minutes and sounds really good with production and/or mixing courtesy of studio Fredman in Gothenburg. The sound is big, bright and clear with some modern and/or industrial hints. Thankfully those are kept to a bare minimum. There is a heavy emphasis on the dual vocal delivery of Anna and Olof. They do a gruff/sweet style but both sing clean.
The tone and tempo is pretty fast, decent songs with catchy hooks and choruses make the songs stand out especially the lead off track, ‘On The Padded Wall’ and the speedy more power-infused ‘ Who I Am’. I try not to compare bands to other bands too much but in this case it is a easy fall-back to describe the bands sound, because they have incorporated the best styles and elements of many different bands and made something quite new and unique. I hear tiny little bits of Sonata Arctica, Pain, later-era, Shotgun Messiah, turn of the century Alice Cooper (think Brutal Planet) mid-era In Flames and Soilwork, Nightwish, Doro and her brief flirtations with industrial, maybe mellower Samael, Kovenenat and more.
My initial hesitation was that I couldn’t wrap my head around the multitude of dissimilar styles and hints of modern keyboard and industrial components, almost tainting the album with dance-y and electro elements, and a tiny hint of (shudder) ‘core’. However, rather than embracing the inept core sound of many American bands ARCTIC VOID embrace a European sound that might be heard in Metal clubs late at night alongside Sybreed, Scar Symmetry and weird techno-remixes of metal classics by some scary German guy with one name.
I don’t want my description to sound negative, this is really a superb album, finely balancing heaviness, darkness melody and catchiness. ENTANGLED is a bit of an entangled mess of many styles but they have made it their own and I love it.
1. On The Padded Wall
2. State Of War
3. Sleeping Underwater
4. Who I Am
6. The Labyrinth
9. Ghosts Are Calling
Anna Samuelsson Vocals
Olof Lindgren Vocals
Per Stålfors Guitar
Peter Svensson Guitar
Claes Kling Bass
Anders Ström Drums
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