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Arkheth – Clarity Came With A Cool Summer's Breeze

Clarity Came With A Cool Summer's Breeze
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 September 2022, 7:12 AM

From Bandcamp, “Active since 2003, Australians ARKHETH reach the finish line of their fourth album with "Clarity Came With A Cool Summer's Breeze,” a work that highlights their expressive maturity and experimental traits. Over time, the Melodic and Symphonic Black Metal of the beginnings has been enriched with lysergic Progressive nuances that in the current scene make the band a unique entity. "Clarity Came With A Cool Summer's Breeze" is in perfect balance between the great Prog-Psych masterpieces of the past and the more experimental Black Metal, so much so that the two genres blend and merge in an admirable way. The album contains six songs.

“In the Cradle of the Crescent Moon” is the first cut. It’s a short introduction to the album. Birds chirp as clean guitars wash a melody over you. Towards the end, sax notes come in briefly, and it is hard to know where this album might take you…I love the suspense. “Kundalini” answers that. It has some of the markings of Black Metal, but also some Progressive leanings as well. The vocals are whispered rasps at first, that turn to clean harmonies in the chorus. A jovial jaunt of electronica comes in at the half-way mark, followed by a darker sound. The transitions are pretty choppy. “Psychonautica” begins with dissonant melodies that transition to darkness. The sound is sort of like a broken body where the left side isn’t in congruence with the right side. It’s an odd mix of elements.

“Neptune Beaches” features some strong big band elements that don’t really connect well with the dissonant rhythm section. It’s as if the orchestra is plagued by skeletons in every third member. The vocals are smooth and carefree, as if strolling through the park. Towards the end, the sound swells with darkness. “Patience in the Garden of Fire” is a much happier song, with acoustical guitars and dancing background elements. The vocalist keeps repeating “into the trees, into the flames, into the fire,” while the music flirts with smooth and mellow tones. “Where the Ocean Meets the Sky” closes the album. Soft, melancholy guitars and vocals open the song. Like a breeze caught in the night air, there is a shadow of darkness lurking. Supple saxophone notes make you forget about the darkness for just a few minutes. The sound comes crashing down at the end with thunder in the twilight.

Overall, this was an odd album to listen to. At times, the album almost sounded happy and jovial, but these moments were fleeting. But a dark cloud hangs over your head, just when you start to feel good. Kudos to the band for their experimentation. They refuse to be classified by any one (or two) genres, and kudos to I,Voindhanger Records for finding yet another very unique album. Yet I could not shake some of the disjointedness in many of the songs, and the transitions in and out of these competing passages were sharp. I am intrigued, and will look forward to their next outing.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

Purchase Link:

3 Star Rating

1. In the Cradle of the Crescent Moon
2. Kundalini
3. Psychonautica
4. Neptune Beaches
5. Patience in the Garden of Fire
6. Where the Ocean Meets the Sky
Tyrone Kostitch – Lead Vocals, Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Drums
Glen Wholohan – Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Tarquin Halls-Corbett – Bass, Backing and Additional Lead Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: I,Voidhanger Records


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