The Pitch: The third album from Polish progressive/blackened death metal band Redemptor via Selfmadegod Records. "The album is a concept built around the word ARTHA, which in Sanskrit means “purpose”, “goal”, “wealth”. It's a constant pursuit for resources, stabillity and fulfilment of all material things that enable one to be in a state one wants to be in." FFO: John Frum, Ulsect, Behemoth
What I Like: Polish death metal often carries a very distinct sound. Mere minutes into Arthaneum, I was already saying "this is out of Poland, isn't it?" Redemptor have some of those unmistakeable early Behemoth vibes, both in riffs and vocals. Hell, some of these moments ("Cremation of Care") wouldn't have been terribly out of place on Zos Kia Cultus. But make no mistake, these guys are a progressive death metal band. Not only are they aesthetically and technically different; I end up trading descriptors like "harsh" and "pummeling" for oddy softer adjectives like "chill." Arthaneum has it's heavier moments for sure, and the band rarely ditches distortion or growls, but something about the presentation has this oddly soothing flow to it. Aside from the expansive, titular centerpiece, even chuggy tracks like "Semantic Incoherence" have a certain hypnotic groove that lull me into peaceful submission. In a way, it's kind of like a toned down version of Ulcerate.
Critiques: This isn't an album that necessarily leaps out at me, but it still has this strange, subtle hold over me while it is playing. I also think that a few of the tracks are on the duller side. It could have been trimmed down a few minutes for a tighter runtime.
The Verdict: Arthaneum is a solid album with gripping atmosphere and some pretty wicked guitar. It also offers something a little different in its approach to death metal, even if quality can be a tad inconsistent. Definitely check Redemptor out.
Flight's Fav's: Cremation Of Care, Semantic Incoherence, Departure
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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