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Aran Angmar – Black Cosmic Elements Award winner

Aran Angmar
Black Cosmic Elements
by Gary Hernandez at 09 July 2021, 1:47 PM

April 16, 2021. Italy. Formed in 2020.

ARAN ANGMAR is a Black Metal trio with roots in Greece and the Netherlands and maybe even Italy. Their name is a Tolkien reference, with “Aran” meaning “king” and “Angmar” referencing the realm of the Witch-King, the lord of the Nazgul. So, essentially Witch-King of Angmar. The band formed in 2020 and on April 16, 2021, they released their debut album, “Black Cosmic Elements.” All of the band members come with some impressive back history, musically speaking, and it definitely comes through on this album. If you are okay with spoil alerts, I’ll tell you right up front this album is a perfect 10/10.

“Black Cosmic Elements” comprises seven tracks and runs just over half an hour. Every track is gorgeously produced, with rich melodic layering and synergy that locks each instrument as well as the vocals into a symphony of dark rhythms. With Maahes covering guitar as well as bass duties, there seems to be some inherent congruity. With acoustic guitar flourishes as well as seamless solos and gritty riffs, tremolo and whole, Maahes puts on an incredible performance throughout. I should also mention that the album was also produced by, you guessed it, Maahes and Roberto Priori. Mixing and mastering was by Giuseppe Orlando at Outersound Studios.

Every minute of this album from the opening track, “Sovereign,” released as single in 2020, all the way through the title-track closure, is a killer. Standout tracks are all of them. Cover art was done by Mexican artist, Nestor Avalos, whose portfolio includes artwork for ROTTING CHRIST, BLOOD BATH, CULT OF FIRE and BLUT AUS NORD. When you couple the visual artistry of Avalos with the musical artistry of ARAN ANGMAR, each track almost becomes a meditation on the dark.

All together, “Black Cosmic Elements” is impeccable. Despite the band’s name, ARAN ANGMAR isn’t a Tolkien themed band. For some that will be a positive, others not, but I imagine most people won’t care one way or another. The real testament to this band is their music. Word on the street is they have a new album soon on the way. The band promises it will be “faster, fiercer, and darker, while still being melodic.” If the best predictor of future performance is past performance, then I think we are all in for a hell of a ride.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sovereign
2. Into the Lawless Abyss
3. Serpents of the Black Sun
4. A Tongue as a Lash of Fire
5. Portals to the Universe
6. The Scion
7. Black Cosmic Element
Lineup:
Michiel van der Plicht – Drums
Maahes – Guitars, bass
Lord Abagor – Vocals
Record Label: Time Tombs Production
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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