Released: June, Self Released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing from the wide and rolling landscapes of the north of England, comes a brand new atmospheric black metal outfit, Arcane North. And I bid this outfit a very warm and happy welcome, having been highly impressed by the band’ debut EP: ENTER THE ARCANE NORTH.
This three track release opens with ‘Ravenous and Cavernous’’s tranquil sounds of a flowing river, that sets a very relaxed and comforting scene, reminding how music can mend inner pain. And before long, guitars I can only liken to US atmospheric group Panopticon kick in to take you to a whole new level. A sensation of riffs and simple drums paint a mental picture of the landscapes that inspired the band, and the use of synths and pianos in the background act like miniature jump-scares to build the listener’s anticipation. A very uplifting piece of music.
On second track ‘Eternal Forest Waltz’ the sound of an owl hooting made me think of ghostly tales and local folk legends, of which the north of England has a long history. I began to liken this track to works from fellow UKBM acts Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth and the more obscure: December Moon. However, because of the atmosphere and focus on more obscure English topics, Arcane North has set itself aside from traditional English Heritage Black Metal and brought in something new. I also enjoyed the timpani which sounded like a war drum and the orchestral backing vocals gave a slightly pagan vibe to this music. A wide range of the black metal canon has been mixed into this band’s agenda to please a wide audience.
Finally, ‘Beneath the Crooked Oak’ continued the pagan vibe and reminded me of Summoning more than once. The vocals start in a less traditional BM manner but soon delve into a delivery similar to early Burzum. I also enjoyed the prominence of the keys and synths of this track and was left very pleased to hear such an interesting take on the English black metal sound.
Overall, anyone looking for new atmospheric black metal should seek out Arcane North. This band has made an excellent entry into the metal world and I very much look forward to hearing more from them. An impressive first release usually means the band have a lot more in store for the future, and I hope that is the case for this outfit.
Review by Demitri Levantis