Released: 2015, Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Once again if you’re looking for heavy music of the blackened kind then Norway has come up with the goods, this time in the form of Bergen based Arvas.
With the whole black metal theme wearing a bit thin, even for those who daren’t leave the house without a good coating of corpse paint it’s good to hear bands trying new things. In the case of Arvas the direction taken is surprisingly and decidedly punk. Fortunately they’ve steered clear of the clean cut lines of melding with the Ramones or Sex Pistols and have instead taken a little something from the Extreme Noise Terror school of spikey hair and multiple zippered trousers.
The result is a bit like listening to a really pissed off Generation Graveyard at a funeral. Almost everything is played at a hundred miles an hour and sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom. You can hear what the band are trying to do, their musicianship is sometimes breath taking, it’s just a shame you can’t hear much of it through the poor production. The only time the fog of war lifts is on the rare quieter moments such as the atmospheric but aimless ‘Intro’ which plays the album in as a composition in its own right, when it should have simply been shortened and allowed to become part of second track ‘Flames Of Black’.
It’s a good thing that bands such as Arvas are looking to try out new ideas rather than become part of a precession of mediocrity. The problem with ‘Black Satanic Mysticism’ is that a few of the basics have been forgotten. The vocal style and unique use of guitar chords mixed with a ferocious rhythm works well to a certain extent but is yanked back like a dog on a lead by that crushingly flat sound and a slavish adherence to wanting to still be in the Nordic black metal club. Given a better knob twiddler and a hacksaw to break those chains and I could see Arvas putting out a genre defining release. ‘Black Metal Mysticism’ will have to serve as a half way house for now.
Review by Gary Trueman