Arkham – Chapter III: The Madness From The Sea

up_060704_arkhamThis is a four song MCD that pays homage to H.P. Lovecraft in the form of dirgey Dark Metal. “The Call of Cthulhu” opens the disc, with a slow and somewhat droning melodic track that does incorporate bursts of speed once or twice. The riffs are some nice dissonant riffs, and the vocals are graveled rasps with a slightly tormented and exaggerated edge, but are still fairly direct in their approach. “Nemesis 1” uses speed a little more than the previous tracks, but alternates it with mid paced riffs before settling down. The last portion of the track has a more upbeat feel with simple guitar riffs, and elaborate bass lines that weaves a percussive noise element through it. “Dagon” is next and brings the deranged side of the vocals forward a bit more and while mixing some of the releases fastest moments with some slow hooks. It feels like the most wide open track of the bunch with the purest Black Metal influence. It works in some nice slow discord and melody along with some atmospheric samples. “Quelque Chose…” closes the releases out with an almost prog-like intro that turns into ambient textures and creature noises and screams that goes for a couple minutes and then rips into a blasting rage. This turns into some more melodic slow riffs and slightly upbeat mid paced ones. Some of the faster elements on “Chapter III…” sound a bit thin compared to the slower breaks most notably on the first two tracks, and the guitars as a whole almost seem too… crisp. There’s a real sharp quality to the distortion tone that for me is an awkward contrast to the murky nature of the theme. It’s not over produced, just very clean sounding, though does feel more atmospheric on the last two tracks. I wanted to really like this, and I do like it, but it has it holes as well. Arkham are at their best in the slow and dissonant gloomy moments, their blasting breaks are not bad, and then mid paced almost bouncy riffs seem completely out of place. There is a lot of potential here with a little more focus and a little more atmosphere in the production, but it’s still a pretty solid and enjoyable, with the first and third tracks being my favorites. – Scott

~ by scottsplatter on January 3, 2009.

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