Arckanum – Fenris Kindir

arckanumI will cling to the statement that Arckanum have never released a bad album, but leading up to the mighty/organic 8th full-length trip into gnostic, anti-cosmic woodland mysticism, Fenris Kindir, sole Arckanum proprietor, Shamaatae, sounded like he was beginning to hit a wall with his own brand of earthen black metal. Though enjoyable in their own right, Sviga Lae and Helvitismyrkr just felt like the overall formula was beginning to stretch thin as a modern (ie: synthetic) drum tone (on the later album in particular) destroyed a lot of the intensity that material struggled to achieve. With Fenris Kindir, Shamaatae has come back seemingly revitalized and reveling in more of an authentic production worthy of the unique tone so effortlessly employed by Arckanum.

If anything, Fenris Kindir is a pleasing step backwards in regards to pure black metal and all the grandiose progressions and fleeting moments of technical proficiency that can come with the genre. Instead, Shamaatae has infected Arckanum’s core with even more of a simplistic and RAW punk vibe. The attack is grating and infectiously rewarding as tracks like Fenris Kindir Grua, Zungls Zjugari, Dolgrinn and the excellent Hatarnir all dig deep with a memorable writing style that yearns for primordial release. Shamaatae’s affinity for stepping out of the metal medium on most of his albums to explore the experimental side of his sound by way of odd atmospheric tracks has always given each release an interesting depth (with varying levels of success), but on Fenris Kindir, he seems to have achieved an authentically creepy vibe throughout the course of this conceptual album, with the most impact being felt on the chilling track, Vargold. The war machine of frightening beasts is churning in the background as the leader of this grotesque legion barks demonic orders out to inspire the horde to push forever on beneath a mounting storm and blackening skies. Such a description may seem a bit tired and true, but a pure feeling of uneasy filth creeps over the listener and summons unsettling mental images to guide us deeper into the soul chilling war of the end. Angrboda emerges from the din with a clangy distorted bass heavy punk vibe arising from the main riffs of this punchy track and a blast from Arckanum’s past, those twisted and primitive female vocal harmonies soar in to further cement this musical projects unique sound into the annals of time. Shamaatae’s vocals, the ever defining bleak and desperate higher register screaming/speaking style again sound like no one else in the black metal realm. You could pick his delivery out of an over flowing BM line-up every time and along with a writing style that is undoubtedly his own, Arckanum is it’s own unique/special misanthropic creation which seems to be so often overlooked when people take the time to share who their favorite artists are.

Fenris Kindir is an otherworldly creation that has rung true like a breath of fresh air. Shamaatae has found his fire again, and it has burned through the soul of Pan, into the vast cosmos to come back 10 times more ferocious to destroy us all with superior song smithing and an old style affinity for simplistically effective blackness. This one takes me back to the early 90’s when black metal possessed that hard to explain mystical feeling, and I gotta say I though such an achievement was a dead art. -Marty

Season of Mist

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~ by martyworm on April 17, 2013.

One Response to “Arckanum – Fenris Kindir”

  1. Well-written, I’m getting excited! Good to read Shamaatae is back. Most highly anticipated release so far this year for me (together with the new Burzum). Anxiously awaiting my pre-order to arrive…

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