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Arvas – VI

Arvas
VI
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 December 2021, 5:52 AM

ARVAS is a Black Metal band based in Norway. From the Metal Archives, they “recorded an album ("Nocturno Inferno") in Winter 1996 with Pytten at Grieghallen Studios, but it was not officially released. After Grim's suicide in 1999 Vassago Rex decided to disband ÖRTH. However, in 2001 he resurrected the project, renaming it ARVAS. “VI” is the band’s sixth studio release and contains twelve tracks.

“Dies Passiones Domini” leads off the album. This short song is full of intensity and anger. The riffs and drums roll forward while the bass lays down low notes of doom. Some leads come in, but they are bit sloppy. “Alone in Torment” begins with a long and harrowing scream followed by a steady “wall of sound” you often hear in the genre. The drums roll forward never ending in a sea of blast beats while the guitars are not too shabby. “Disturbed” opens with some effects in the guitars but it’s not long before the dreadful vocals and drums take over. The lead guitar notes offer just a lit of layering.

“Silent Night” begins with the drums running overtime in a machine gun pattern where you can barely count the notes. The guitar work is decent for a Black Metal band as well as bit surprising, but so far the songs bleed together in similar arrangements. “Appendix Diaboli” opens with a staccato guitar attack but again it’s not long before the song is whitewashed (or blackwashed) with guitars, drums and vocals to the point of nearly taking way any structure. “Sapphire” is the first song that begins with something other than a blast of drums and guitars. The rhythms build in a harrowing sound. The short pause after the half-way mark is also something new…this might be the best song on the album.

“Faithless Disruption” is another ball of energy that doesn’t quit…sort of like a burning star in the horizon that will take decades to burn out to completion. “Despicable Truth” closes the album. It’s yet another similar sound, this time with a bit of dissonance in the rhythms and a slower groove. The sound is deep and dark and the guitar work is just a bit off the beaten path, but again the drums and vocals keep things within the narrow boundaries of the Old School sound.

I like Black Metal, I really do, But, overall, this is pretty typical Old School Black Metal…though the instruments are at least a little creative, and the production is near normal, the album offers nothing new in the genre and unless you are a fan of the band from way back, I think you can safely skip this album.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dies Passiones Domini
2. Alone in Torment
3. Crimson Ocean
4. Disturbed
5. The Empress and the Shadow Stone
6. Silent Night
7. Constitutional Death
8. Appendix Diaboli
9. Endless Aeons and Cosmic Supremacy
10. Sapphire
11. Faithless Disruption
12. Despicable Truth
Lineup:
V-Rex – Bass, Drums, Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Record Label: Whispering Voice Records
     


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