Arkheth ‎– Twelve Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

I was immediately captivated by the witching painted cover (by Francesco Gemelli known from his works for Katatonia, Mayhem), that could figure on a medieval illuminated manuscript. And when hearing the first track, “Trismegistus”, the image of this album began to take shape, sensing the presence of an astral body of whose reflections gloom the back of your cellar.

On their Bandcamp Arkheth mentions that they play experimental Black Metal. They build the compositions with apparently Virus-like arpeggios and smooth percussions in a soft dramatic key quite gothic, Cradle Of Filth-esque, but abundant in dissonances so cherished by exotic acts (they come from Australia) and with a bombastic use of a saxophone. Tending to exalt the listener, on “Dark Energy Equilibrium”, this cathedral of baroque sound mounts in altitude and attitude towards a grandeur recalling Emperor’s all-encompassing textures.

However “Twelve Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew” is a disque apart from coming out from a different brew, a kind of histrionic good taste seems to give the direction to each composition. “Where Nameless Ghouls Weep” suggests a dark vaudeville, the one where they could be joined by Slagmaur or Pensees Nocturnes; all instruments work in a great symbiosis and the theatrical voice offers a marvellous stage presence. In terms of styles, the metal is rooted into Bathory and their contemporary incarnations such as Cultes Des Ghoules. Weary of so many examples? Well, “The Fool Who Persists in His Folly”, can estrange them enough of the aforementioned acts, as it gets intricate and dazzling, like an absurd piece that plays with your common sense… a sax played in moonlight sorcery Black Metal. It ends with this pagan hymn to Gaia, “A Place under the Sun”, the closing spell upon those who haven’t been yet conquered by the album.

Another unique release form Transcending Obscurity Records, a Mumbai-based label owned by a man with splendid tastes. I believe during the next twelve winter moons this record will still be haunting our imagination.

Arkheth ‎– Twelve Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew
Transcending Obscurity Records, TOR 34
CD/Digital 2018

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