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Arx Atrata - The Path Untravelled Award winner

Arx Atrata
The Path Untravelled
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 September 2019, 6:31 AM

ARX ATRATA is a one-man Atmospheric Black Metal band based out the U.K. Formed in 2010, he has released two previous albums and now is back with his third, titled “The Path Untravelled,” which contains seven new tracks. “MCMLXCVII” is the opening track, with an alluring and melancholic sound. Birds are chirping softly in the background. Then the main riff drops. It retains that beautiful melody and segues into “To be Reborn,” picking up the same melody but with added layers. The vocals are absolutely intense, short bursts of rage. Piano notes sprinkle over top. There is absolute beauty to be found in the darkness. It ends with doleful clean guitars and some ambiance.

“An Undying Verse” opens with a slow moving riff and a sense of desperation. Desperation moves to rage when the vocals come in. There is something still very pretty in the structure of the music. The key changes are wonderful…it leaves you with a surprise about where things are headed. “The Path Untravelled” is a ten-minute beast. It has a slow and depressing sort of grind. It paused at around the half-way mark in order for you to catch your breath from the dismal landscapes, but is back fairly quickly. The intensity picks up in layers, leaving you almost being able to feel the grief and desolation. Following another short pause, it pushes hard through the end.

“Elmet” opens with clean guitar notes that echo into distant places. The vocals come into play very prominently, while the music holds a gentle cadence. It takes a pretty pause around the half way mark, enough for you to look into the forbidden pool with clear vision. The guitar pattern towards the end has a mesmerizing energy. “Brethren and Betrayer” has a little bit of a faster cadence. The guitars play together here in harmony, and the song has a slightly darker tone to it. The intensity builds, and it retains a regal like aspect to it. “The Wraith” closes the album, at close to eleven minutes in length. It has an aggressive but lonely type of sound out of the gate. The vocals are absolutely vile. The music picks up in layers of serenity, clashing with the vocal style.

Overall, this was an excellent album, done by a skilled songwriter. What the album does best is keep you in between worlds of the raging, intense vocals, and the beautiful, serene music. It’s sad, and depressing, but also full of vigor and excitement. He is also masterful at building layers into the music, and hitting you with waves of emotion at just the right times. “The Path Untravelled” is an undeniable winner, indeed.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. MCMLXXVII
2. To be Reborn
3. An Undying Verse
4. The Path Untravelled
5. Elmet
6. Brethren and Betrayer
7. The Wraith
Lineup:
Ben Sizer – Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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