Metal Review – Arckanum – Helvítismyrkr (2011)

Arckanum - HelvítismyrkrArckanum brings us their sixth full-length release entitled Helvítismyrkr, and for black metal fans, I think that this will be a treat. I am really into it. I am open to the classic black metal sounds and the more modern versions of black metal. I probably lean more on the side of the classic droning black metal of yesteryear, but that is just a preference.

With Helvítismyrkr, we have a black metal album that offers a more fast paced tempo on much of their songs. At times, that is a plus and at times a detriment, the latter of which is that the songs become increasingly hard to distinguish apart at times. All in all though, it is a solid release that will satisfy the pallet of many black metal genre fans.

In the bitter cold darkness of the far North hidden below the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil lies a realm, where the dead gather only to be released for the final battle. There rules Hel, the Old Norse giantess, spawn of Loki banned from Asgard to whom ARCKANUM dedicates its sixth full-length “Helvítismyrkr”. The band was founded in 1992 by Shamaatae, who decided to continue solo after first demo “Demo-93”. The Swede had previously played drums in CONQUEST/GROTESQUE (which were to become AT THE GATES) and founded the Death Metal band ABSORPTION with his brother Sataros, before renaming it DISENTERMENT. ARCKANUM embodies Shamaatae’s return to Black Metal taking inspiration from Pan, anti-cosmic Satanism, Old Norse tradition, runic witchcraft and chaos-Gnosticism. Musically the Swede draws inspiration from Black and Death Metal with strong influences from the 80’s with a clear penchant for a dirty and thrashing sound. ARCKANUM’s first albums “Fran Marder” (1995), “Kostogher” (1997) and “Kampen” (1998) as well as a host of EPs gain Shamaatae a large following in the underground. With “ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ” (2009) the musician begins to receive critical acclaim from mainstream Metal media as well. Now “Helvítismyrkr” marks the next step in the evolution of ARCKANUM. Descend into the dark realm of Hel and prepare to join the final battle with the gods!

Helvítismyrkr Track Listing:
1. Helvitt
2. Myrkrin Vinna Hefnt
3. Ór Djúpum
4. In Svarta
5. Nifldreki
6. Svartr ok Þursligr
7. Þrúðgelmis Hlaut
8. Sísoltinn
9. Outro

Arckanum Line-up:
Shamaatae: all instruments and vocals