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Arcane Frost - Dragged into the Void

Arcane Frost
Dragged into the Void
by Cherie Wong at 01 October 2019, 5:26 AM

On September 6, 2019, ARCANE FROST released “Dragged Into the Void.” Formed in 2015, ARCANE FROST is a black metal band that hails from Germany. You may know the members from their current involvement with the bands CRYPTIC BROOD, DEMORED, and REPULSIVE FEAST.

The sound of this record is best classified as raw atmospheric black metal. ARCANE FROST pays homage to the roots of atmospheric black metal with ‘90s era production values. While the production is raw, it is not as raw as the early albums of BURZUM, ULVER, or DARKTHRONE. Furthermore, ARCANE FROST manages to create atmosphere without the use of a keyboard or samples. Instead, the stark atmosphere is created from the blistering, yet still melodic, lead guitar. The bass guitar is also audible, adding to the low-end of every song.

The first track “Shattered Thrones” starts with a hypnotic riff that gains and reduces speed throughout the song. There are your typical black metal tremolo riffs, but towards the middle, the song slows to an almost death/doom metal pace. The next track I want to comment on is “Flayer.” What sticks out is the bassline, which complements the lead guitar well. In addition to demonstrating good songwriting, this shows that even with the raw production, the listener is still be able to pick out each instrument.

In 2017, ARCANE FROST released a demo titled “Cosmic Winter.” The CD version of “Dragged Into the Void” contains all three tracks from this demo as an exclusive bonus. For those that already own the demo, there is not a noticeable difference between the demo and the CD versions. For those that do not own the demo, I will comment on two of the three tracks.

Gaze Upon the Frozen Shore” is a meditation on a riff that changes pace with the help of the drums. The combination of tremolo picking and slow drumming is very hypnotic. Though the song undergoes tempo changes, the slow passages are allowed time to linger, which helps the listener absorb the atmosphere. The last song of the album and the titular song of the demo is “Cosmic Winter.” This song has an even mix of slow and fast riffs, as opposed to leaning towards slower to mid tempo riffs. Transitions between the tempo changes are smooth.

Overall, I recommend this album to fans of atmospheric black metal. While the music riffs and melodies aren’t novel, ARCANE FROST manages to envelope the listener in a depressive and bleak atmosphere.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shattered Thrones
2. Dragged Into The Void
3. Under A Starless Sky
4. Flayer
5. Shapeless Essence
6. Gaze Upon the Frozen Shore
7. Cosmic Winter
Lineup:
Nils Schlüter – Drums
Aron Müller – Bass/Backing Vocals
Dennis Butzke – Guitar/Vocals
Record Label: Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions
     


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