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Arkuum – Die Letzte Agonie

Die Letzte Agonie
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 August 2018, 8:26 AM

From Germany, comes Atmospheric/Post-Black metal outfit ARKUUM, with their sophomore release titled “Die Letzte Agonie,” which contains five tracks. From their Facebook page, “The solo project ARKUUM was founded on 2013 by David. ARKUUM orientates itself to Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal, thus it combines a lot of different stylistic influences like Blackgaze, Black Metal, Post Metal and Ambient. But it’s mainly about music as an art without frontiers, which makes the genre label simply a representation on the surface. The musical arrangement does not predefine itself, it rather tries to break limits to impart ARKUUM it’s very own sound.”

“Verleungnung” leads off the album, with the distinct squawking of birds, amidst some background noise. Some ominous piano notes soon join the fold, and then the Black Metal vocals come roaring in, high and screechy. The music is solemn and the mood serious, as the track lingers on, through the endless grey. It crescendos until the end, with the music fading out as a thunderstorm takes the track to completion. “Zorn” opens with a solemn mood and that familiar one-two chord structure, where the second chord is just a step lower than the first. The vocals are incensed, while the music breathes a bit, with the steady snare drum percussion from Simon Hauck, while a cold air stirs in the background. It takes a darker turn, about half-way through, with the vocals becoming low guttural utterances, and the music becoming Doomy.

“Handel” opens with clean guitar notes that lead quickly to a procession of doleful sounds and a depressing atmosphere, with clean vocals that sting you with their despondent tones. As it continues to move, it is like an endless rain coating your body. About three-quarters of the way through, it turns nefarious, lashing out with anger. “Verzwieflung” opens with strummed clean guitar chords and a feeling of capturing the essence of something so beautifully depressing that it makes your heart ache in response. Sobbing in the background continues while the music draws out at a slow pace. It ends with a long fade out, as the guitar notes continue to chime.

“Akezptanz” closes the album. Despondent clean guitar notes lead off the song, giving way to a mesmerizing rhythm that takes a hold of your throat and slowly closes the airway. As you begin to turn blue, they dial up the headlock while you choke for air. The guitars align in a dual rhythm and all turns to black. Overall, I think the album does a great job avoiding the usual genre classification. The overtones are Black Metal for sure, but there are plenty of other elements oozing in between. Some of the despondent elements are gut-wrenching, and there is plenty of push-and-pull going on in terms of the balance between anger and despair. Definitely give this a moment of your time, and you won’t be disappointed!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Verleugnung
2. Zorn
3. Handel
4. Verzwieflung
5. Akezptanz
David "Arkas" – Compositions, Lyrics, Guitars
René – Vocals
Timo "Svartsjel" – Guitars
Max Roth – Bass
Simon Hauck – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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