Sunday, 5 October 2014

Arcane North - Enter The Arcane North EP


I've got MS of Glorious North Productions to thank for this little EP. While GNP didn't release it, the label has distributed the CD release for one-man County Durham black metal band Arcane North. Arcane North (William) began making music in 2013 and Enter The Arcane North was released in June of this year and was limited to just forty copies. There's not much else to say, apart from that the picture at the top of the review, isn't the actual CD cover, though the background image is the same.

Tracklist:-

1. Ravenous And Cavernous
2. Eternal Forest Waltz
3. Beneath The Crooked Oak

Knowing the sort of bands that have been released by Glorious North Productions (many of whom have been reviewed here before), the fact that the label has been involved in this release comes a no surprise. Arcane North is honest and grand solo black-metal. EP opener Ravenous And Cavernous is initially filled with a wall of guitar, before the drums and atmospheric effects are added to the mix. The vocals are rasping screams and there are medieval textures throughout, which bring to mind the cold and bleak countryside that provides the background to the song. It’s an engaging initial listen and the twin-guitar melodies are a really nice touch.

The hooting of the Owl during the into to Eternal Forest Waltz, conjures images of nights alone in the woods. That’s probably the atmosphere William was going for! Here the guitar provides the melody, while the chanting used adds a menacing edge. Eternal Forest Waltz doesn’t contain the same impact as the EP’s opener, but the structure and texture is more geared towards the epic end of the black-metal spectrum. Hiding the percussion deep within the mix softens the aggression and brings out a more calming feel.

The menacing, occult tones carry through Enter The Arcane North to closing song Beneath The Crooked Oak. The vocals are slightly deeper in the mix in this song, allowing the instrumentation to shine through. The ending to this song is brilliant though, as Arcane North shrugs off the majestic soundscape and ratchets up the pace to a level, which at times leans towards grind. It certainly livens up the mood on the EP.  Featuring three-tracks that together, add up to nearly half an hour of playing time, Enter The Arcane North is very assured and focused. I hear there are more songs on the way, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from AN.

EP opener Ravenous And Cavernous is streaming via Arcane North's Soundcloud page below:-




Physical CD's can be purchased via Glorious North Productions here - http://www.gloriousnorth.co.uk/products-page/cds/arcane-north-enter/

Arcane North Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ArcaneNorth
Glorious North Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glorious-North-Productions

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