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Arcane Existence - Colossus

Arcane Existence
by Andrew Harvey at 17 August 2021, 6:51 PM

Now generally we do mostly get bands whose members are all men or the singer might be female, so you wonder if there is such a thing as a metal band whose members are all mostly female. Well look no further than this band ARCANE EXISTENCE who have 4 female members except for their drummer who is HARLEY BLANFORD. The band came together in 2016 not long before releasing their debut album THE DARK CURSE in 2017.

Their second album COLOSSUS is also released independently by the band themselves. However the difference is, only three musicians were a part of the band for their debut album (two of which left since then). That was the same musician who was also behind the band’s inception was the astounding talent and multi-instrumentalist KIERA PIETRANGELO.

So the beginning of their album starts with “Mystic” which compiles the majestic sound of choral chanting, keyboard effects and guitar providing that vibrato effect. “Sovereign Blood” opening with the symphonic sound collated with black metal vocals and glissando of piano too. Not to mention the eccentric guitar solos and powerful automated voice which is different. “Transmutation” with a kick ass intro of amazing guitar riffs and evil vocal parts almost possessed. There is the symphonic backdrop, doom metal sound and piano which really ends this track on a lighter note.

“Formation” really brings the combination of symphonic and black metal together. The blast beats of the drums along with the appropriate phrasing hits the nail on the head, so to speak. No doubt the female operatic vocals make a worthy contribution too. “Conclave” is simply the sequel to the previous track as it picks off from what we heard before.The various elements include the contrast of clean or scream vocals, to the galloping drums but again with that symphonic touch of class.

Each instrument has their opportunity to show their talent and musical capabilities. “Scroll Of The Augury” begins with a harp with flowing gentle soundscape effects. The sustained female operatic voice ignites the track with pitch shifts of guitar and progressive influence. There is a short pause with piano setting the benchmark for a full unison on what is the outro, moving on into the next track.

“The Altar” with more pounding blast beats of drums, that are merged with operatic vocals and more excessive vocal parts. The space between both vocal parts, I feel is actually maybe too far apart. But the addition of what sounds like automated or warped vocals, are intriguing before we hear the spooky final scream from one vocalist. “Enchantment” , like the fourth track we heard before, is another short segment of symphonic bliss with bell tolls. The accompaniment of drums, guitar & other instruments add that tonal quality to the album.

“Castle On The Hill” and “Conducting the Scourge” share similar musical aspects of rhythm with drums. But the staccato guitar sound in the ninth track does work nicely. In the tenth track, the drum pattern varies somewhat and the keyboard solo complimented by choral chants. “Colossus” stands out for the glissando effect on the harp while the guitar goes up and down in pitch. The piano at the end is beautifully arranged going into the next track.

“Beneath Withered Stone” does show some speed metal influences with similar vocal lines of operatic and black metal. But it is the final track that is a surprise “A Light Between Realms” is merely a symphonic collage of strings, flute maybe and percussive movements. The sound of this album overall is certainly experimental, but considering this band combines two subgenres well it’s admirable. The symphonic gestures are very clear and the black metal influence is also evident in the vocals & drums. I guess we will have to wait and see if this is done in the next release already, I do wait in anticipation.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Mystic
2. Sovereign Blood
3. Transmutation
4. Formation
5. Conclave
6. Scroll Of Augury
7. The Altar
8. Enchantment
9. Castle On The Hill
10. Conducting The Scourge
11. Colossus
12. Beneath Withered Stone
13. A Light Between Realms
Jade Orodnez - Vocals
Stroda - All Instruments & Guitar
Tracy Tanner - Bass Guitar
Becca McCabe - Keyboards, Harp & Vocals
Harley Blanford - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 December 2022

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