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K Amon K – Arca Ende Aeterna

K Amon K
Arca Ende Aeterna
by Gary Hernandez at 20 February 2022, 2:05 AM

“Arca Ende Aeterna” (trans: the eternal ark) is the debut full-length album by French Black Metal foursome, K AMON K. The album was released November 25, 2021 on Code666 records and Aural Music and is still wending its way into underground metal forums, catalogues, and review columns. Hence its appearance in our own Metal Temple. The album cover, with its sinister folk imagery and brilliant yellows, stirs in me impressions of Robert W. Chamber’s “The King in Yellow” stories, featuring a forbidden tome and consequent madness. Listening to the album reinforces those feelings of unease but also lulls one deeper into the shadowlands. In short, this is some deep running Black Metal that makes you think and feel. As we all know, it sometimes takes darkness to draw out the light.

Although K AMON K is a relatively new band, having formed in 2021 (!!), the band comprises veterans from the French Black Metal scene. And the eight tracks on this 55-minute album are a testament to that fact. These are thoughtful, fully developed musical and lyrical explorations of the dark. While there are more razored riffs and sharps and flats than a glass factory after a solid shelling, and while Kra sounds like he might have chewed up a fist full glass shards from the same factory, the tracks on this album are more patient and deliberate than chaotic and inharmonious. We’re talking Lawful Evil stuff if you’re of that model.

All the song titles are in French, as are the lyrics—though they might actually be ancient Sumerian for all I know. Standout tracks are the opening track, “Le bruit et l'enfer” (trans: noise and hell) with its epic choral intro, Kra’s insistent vocals, and the unexpected shift into a languid hellscape; “Les paroles s'envolent les ecrits brûlent” (trans: the words fly away, the writings burn) because with a title like that how can it not be awesome, and at close to six minutes long, the band has plenty of space to expose their demons; and “Le serpent dans l'eclipse” (trans: the serpent in the eclipse) for its muted tremolo and atmospheric outro.

There has been a lot of excellent Black Metal coming out of France lately. Or maybe that has always been the case and I’m just slow on the uptake. Either way, the debut full-length from K AMON K, “Arca Ende Aeterna,” is a brilliant artifact of the craft. Unlike the verboten volume its cover may or may not hint at, it can be easily secured . . . though, like said book, it may indeed drive you to madness with its dark implications.

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

4 Star Rating

1.  Le bruit et l'enfer
2.  Du tonnere dans le gouffre
3.  A jamais
4.  Voyageurs
5.  Voeu de ténèbres
6.  Les paroles s'envolent les ecrits brûlent
7.  Le serpent dans l'eclipse
8.  NRAT Alpha
Fyr – Bass
Kra Altar – Drums
KZG – Guitars, keyboards
Kra Cillag – Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Record Label: Code666 Records and Aural Music


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Edited 24 March 2023

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