Arkhamin Kirjasto – Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death

krypt-041 Arkhamin Kirjasto 7'' FRONT COVERSomething I’ve learned about myself over years of listening to extreme and obscure music is the specific aspects of presentation that are essentially guaranteed to draw my attention like carrion beetles to a fresh corpse. One of the strongest stenches for myself, and it’s something I’m actually surprised I don’t see more often, is even the vaguest hint of Lovecraft. Normally I’d be about as interested in a heavy metal 7” from 2013 as I would be in collecting LaserDiscs, but my Lovecraftian compulsions brought Arkhamin Kirjasto to the center of my attention. An album title as ridiculously Finnish as Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death, doesn’t hurt either.

References to neurotic, dead writers aside, I was both surprised and pleased to find that the music beneath the image didn’t fail me. The press release refers to Arkhamin Kirjasto as “Finnish Kings of Lovecraftian Hard Rock & Death Metal”, but to my ears their are only vague hints of death metal in the low end production, some of the darker, descending riffs, and the gruff, but not quite growling, vocals. There’s also very little here that I would describe as Lovecraftian in terms of the weirdness that term suggests, or in the lyrical content. What Arkhamin Kirjasto does bring out of the cellar is extremely catchy, dirty, and energetic heavy metal. It’s absolute headbanging material, replete with a warm, fuzzy production, chunky riffs, fiery leads, and shout along choruses. These traits alone would make it an enjoyable, if not memorable, slice of traditional metal, but just enough Finnish oddness is infused into these short songs to give them a distinctive feeling. The odd, echoing chants in “Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death”, and the psychedelic intro that morphs into the spirited lead backed by quickly strummed acoustic guitars in “Spellbound & Tortured” (easily the best song here) ensure that things don’t get tired. “The Nomad” is a little disappointing compared to the other 2 songs. It’s just as catchy, but it feels like it needs something more to carry its all too familiar riffs and leads.

Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death is a solid, bite sized chunk of Finnish heavy metal. It doesn’t carry any pretensions of being much more than that. On the one hand, I like that: it’s gratifying in its straightforward nature. On the other hand, there’s just not quite enough there too make it something worth coming back to in the long term. Still, these songs have my attention for now, and I’ll be watching Arkhamin Kirjasto in the future. They could be quite a force to reckon with if they manage to emphasize their more unique qualities and voice in future releases. -Jake

Ektro Records

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~ by jakemoran on July 3, 2013.

2 Responses to “Arkhamin Kirjasto – Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death”

  1. Plus their name = “Arkham Library” or something like that…

  2. I checked out a couple of tunes. Not bad, but sounds like Phazm death and roll–a bit too poppy and easy to please with some not great modulation (Cult of No Return). Lighthearted and sort of obvious—hard to imagine anybody remembering this even two months after they get it.

    I will again mention if you want real true heavy metal, the Finnish cult way, Morningstar’s Finnish Metal, Kalevala Mysticism, Weight of the Hammer are better sculpted and more earnest than this.

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