Reviewed: October, 2019
Released: 2019, Northern Silence Productions
Reviewer: Ambra Chilenwa
Wintry beauty and melodies of nature are intelligently picked up by Canadian melodic black metal group Arctos in their new album, “Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands”. Two years after their EP release, they have explored ways of praising their ancestors who lived in nature.
Immediately we were introduced with shocking blastbeats and harmonic minor scales filled with melancholy. The first track consisted of a spirited warmth from the sound of water and contained a healing sensation. “Somnos Aeternus” is a sensational track that gets one in the grasp of history and nature; with its acoustic and atmospheric piece towards the end, this production was carried out successfully. Arctos can be likened to the notable black metal act Lord Belial. The band’s sound changes throughout the duration of listening – certain elements are detailed by uplifting tone along with harsh vocals. Rhythms and skills were moved from one piece to another, as pieces branched from interlude to complete intensity.
They further displayed a unique approach to folk elements and an interesting piano piece in “A Realm Beyond” to demonstrate their variability in this new release. Any listener would love to be besieged with fascinating songwriting by such musical veterans. There are noticeable elements you can discover when streaming, such as the defined bridges of melodic black metal, the fusion with folk music and acoustic instrumentation, followed by the ethereal structure which is comparable to Scottish black metal project Panopticon. Every artist supported each other while producing this album – John Needham’s drumming rhythm lifted the sound of every other member.
Overall, this new full-length concludes the band’s creativity and talent. Also, they each possess the dynamic ability to call forth the coldness and frostbiting of melodic black metal. Continue to watch Arctos grow into bigger things as time goes by.