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Arckanum - Fenris Kindir Award winner

Fenris Kindir
by Salvador Aguinaga II at 10 June 2013, 9:34 PM

It’s dark, grim, dirty, rhythmic, elegant and scratchy-that about sums up ”Fenris Kindir”. But if you want a clearer idea of what you’re in store for just imagine the following: Proscriptor McGovern (ABSU) on drums, D.D. Verni (OVERKILL) on bass, and finally all rounded up by the atmospheric leanings, genre-melding and production values of DARKTHRONE. Oh and with little sprinkles of VENOM placed strategically. To me it sounds like a phenomenal collaboration, but to another, it might be entirely different. What’s even more incredible is this is the work of one man. Shamaatae, the sole composer of ARCKANUM, is, I would guess, a very devoted individual to compose everything to the degree that he did. For plenty of one man projects, drums can be a little less important than the rest of the instruments, but in this instance, it is just as important as every note concocted on the guitar. I almost decided not to review this, but I’m glad I rethought my decision as I could have missed an important gem for 2013.

As far as the production goes, I loved it to the last ambient molecule. It was rather perfect. My idea of perfect is quite different, you see, I prefer a more naturalistic sound and this is what “Fenris Kindir” delivers. From genre to genre my values change, but for the style Shamaatae plays here I couldn’t think of any revisions that could be done to enhance your listening experience. It is a scratchy production, but it is something to value. It’s like a hybrid of old school Death Metal and mid-90s Black Metal. But the funny thing is, there wasn’t much of a hint of Death Metal, but in my opinion Shamaatae’s ingenious ideas somehow captured a reminiscent sound.

With said production values, it added a dirty, dark, and grim sense to the guitar direction. A few times I thought they sounded like VENOM. Somewhat the archaic styling of Crust Punk, Heavy Metal, and of course the majority being, Black Metal. It’s basically the idea DARKTHRONE has had throughout the years. He was just a master of what came natural to him. It had a very classical feel. Speaking of which, I’d say my opinion is given more credibility when a guest musician introduced their rendition with violins. This is why I said this record can be elegant too, elegant and dark simultaneously that is. The violins are very fitting. They’re not over-the-top, they are where they need to be. It’s not a random mish-mash of different elements. Everything was conceived and raised beforehand before finalizing the distribution us fellow listeners would receive. In others words, there’s purpose behind every movement he makes and even when you don’t agree one hundred percent, you can’t help but appreciate his essence.

The only real problem I had is the female guest musician on the album. I don’t know what it was I just didn’t feel it, but it’s a small contribution that it is not much of a bother (maybe I‘ll go back and see to it differently). From what I remember, it’s mostly an ambient contribution. Nothing more, nothing less. Drums, drums, ah drums. First off, if you haven’t heard ABSU, you really need to. Pause reading this review and check out a song right away. I know there’re people who don’t like them, that’s fine. But what a lot of people can agree on is Proscriptor McGovern is a badass drummer. In fact, He’s one of my all-time favorite drummers. …And if for some unbelievable reason you don’t like the drumming there then check it out on the earlier albums of MELECHESH. And if you still don’t like it, I have to assume you never touched a drum kit before (I haven’t either, but I know creative and inventive drumming when I hear it). Shamaatae is a variation of Proscriptor’s, it’s similar, but it leads more toward his own vision rather than being mere ABSU-worship.

I really don’t have much to say about the bass. You would think I would, but I don’t. It’s basically the same situation I described with the drums, but instead it is a variation of D.D. Verni’s, but a bit more simplified. Not simplistic in the sense for the sake of it, but for matching the musical style he shares with us. I guess that goes for his drum variation as well. This is a very terrific album. With “Fenris Kindir” I think I have found a strong candidate for being in my Top 10 of 2013. 

4 Star Rating

1. Fenris Kindir Grúa
2. Tungls Tjúgari
3. Dólgrinn
4. Hatarnir
5. Hamrami
6. Fenris Gangr
7. Vargøld
8. Angrboða
9. Úskepna
10. Spell
11. Sólbøls Sigr
Shamaatae - All instruments, Vocals

Guest appearances:
Peter Asp - Horns (Tracks 1 & 7), Guitars (Tracks 1 & 4)
Lena Klarström - Female Vocals (Tracks 4 & 8)
Ljuder-Stefan Westberg Horns and Violins (Track 5), Keyed fiddle (Nyckelharpa) and Violins (Track 11)
Olof Lindberg - Horns (Track 7)
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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