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Arcanum – The Book of Onyx (Reissue)

The Book of Onyx (Reissue)
by Caio Botrel at 10 August 2020, 6:18 AM

ARCANUM is a Heavy Metal band from North Carolina, USA that seems to have parted ways back in the 1990’s and released only one demo tape self-titled. Years later they have decided to reissue the self-titled demo as a full-length album named “The Book of Onyx” through Heaven and Hell records and that is what we are going to about.

The opening track from the album is “The Attic Master” which starts with a classic guitar riff that reminded me a lot from the 1980’s and the vocalist sounds a little bit like KING DIAMOND on his high vocals, which is cool. It is a classic Heavy Metal song and a good one to start the material as well. “The Pit And The Pendulum Master” starts out with a cool guitar riff that you will be singing it as soon as you hear it for the first time. There is a cool bass line that follows the groove riff and it made the song better. This song has some dynamic changes and different ambiances comes out of it, which I find nice.

Jekyll & Hide Master” starts fast if compared to the previous song and it feels more inspired by the Speed Metal that was practiced in the 1980’s and it is a nice song. “Immortal Master” follows the same vibe from the previous song, but it sounds different on the mixing and I don’t know why, but I like that it has a heavier sound. “Overture Master” starts differently with a guitar solo and a little bit of a horror sound for the fans of the genre. This song is an instrumental song with a lot of shreds and cool neo-classical influences on it, I liked.

The Killing Machine Master”, “Into the Inferno”, “Holy Hypocrite Master” and “Warrior Master” are nice songs that completes the album with their already traditional Heavy Metal with Speed Metal and sometimes neo-classical elements on it. “The Temptress” starts with a nice guitar lick and solo following it, then the song changes its dynamic and ambiance and becomes something different, but still nice in a way. The vocals are still the coolest thing.

Nightbreed Master” have a bad mixing quality if compared to all the rest of the songs and it feels that they forgot to mix that one in the reissue edition of the album. It’s a good song, but the mixing is really bad. “A.L.I.T.F” follows the same vibe from the previous one, with the bad mixing quality that made many of the notes from the guitar riffs become unlistenable. There’s so many changes on the mixing here on this instrumental song that… nothing to add.

The Rising Dead Master” should be a great song to end the material, but it still with the bad quality from the other two previous songs and well… even if it is a good song, with good riffs, I don’t see the point of don’t mix the album the same way. The vocals are cool anyway.

ARCANUM have written and released a Heavy Metal album with some highlights and lowlights, the songs are good and reminded a lot the 1980’s metal, but the inconsistence with the mixing quality does bother. It goes from a professional record to a non-professional material and that is a boomer, sir.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. The Attic
2. The Pit And The Pendulum
3. Jekyll & Hide
4. Immortal
5. Overture
6. The Killing Machine
7. Into the Inferno
8. Holy Hypocrites
9. Warrior
10. The Temptress
11. Nightbreed
12. A.L.I.T.F
13. The Rising Dead
JohnSpeedyRudisill – Vocals
VengeHelton – Rhythm Guitar
RobertWhizTyner – Lead Guitar
DavidRock UnitMay – Bass
DonnieThumperHill – Drums
Record Label: Heaven and Hell Records


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Edited 08 October 2022

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