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Arctora – The Storm is Over

The Storm is Over
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 November 2022, 7:26 AM

From their EPK, “From the cold north, the storm arrives. Combining all genres of Northern Metal, ARCTORA will take you on a journey through a landscape of the soul. Through summer storms and raging blizzards, from the quiet woodlands to vast forests of snow…a promise of hope and the inevitable feeling of melancholy. ARCTORA tells stories of personal struggles with introspective and vivid lyrics, hoping to offer solace to the listener in their own troubles. The feeling of catharsis through music. "Let not your heart be turned to stone, By all manner of earthly woes." The album has eight songs.

“Hearts Ever Restless” is the first. A glorious and intricate main riff follows some charming opening tones, sounding like the mighty INSOMNIUM. The harsh vocals drip with both angry tones and also some tones of regret. The song is grand in scope, but the melodies are so easily digested. The closing tones are very pretty. “Arbiter of Fate” is a heavier offering with plenty of pent-up aggression and nice guitar harmonies. The chorus is packed full of melancholy melodies. “The Last Winter” features more somber tones and the sentiment that this season could be your last around the sun. Longing qualities come through strongly, along with rage. “I Am Human” is a slower groove thick in both its intensity and its ability to breath melodies out into the air, like a mist of rain that coats you slowly as it falls. The intensity wins out in the end.

“A Pale Image of What You See” has a good balance between ardent Death Metal tones along with enough sad and melancholic to keep you moving forward in the face of obstacles. In this case, it could be the raging blizzard, but you just keep pushing. “Wings of Wax” features some strong guitar work in the opening sequence, followed by more depressive tones that are also full of resolve. Will the human spirit endure? The title track begins with clean, solemn tones and clean vocals. The storm passes by you look around at the death toll, but somehow you are still breathing. “Haaksi” closes the album, a ten-minute opus. That wonderful balance is brought back once again. The Death Metal tones are very dark and aggressive but that backing light of melody shines through the darkness like e beacon of hope.

What a grand sound overall. In the genre of Melodic Death Metal, we all know it has been done and re-done thousands of times. But ARCTUS brings their one unique stamp on the genre with “The Storm is Over.” It’s all in the songwriting. Ostensibly taking some notes from their brethren INSOMNIUM, they have created a glorious album that has a great balance between the Death and Melodic sounds, without one winning the battle over the other. Perhaps the best part of the album is the guitar work. It’s intricate, harmonic, and so accessible. This was an excellent listen from start to finish.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Hearts Ever Restless
2. Arbiter of Fate
3. The Last Winter
4. I Am Human
5. A Pale Image of What You See
6. Wings of Wax
7. The Storm Is Over
8. Haaksi
Joel Notkonen – Guitar and Vocals
Tommi Tuhkala – Drums
Ville "VP" Sirkiä – Vocals
Tuure Suomalainen – Guitars
Jere Halonen – Bass
Record Label: WormHoleDeath


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