The Pitch: Black metal from Canadian band Arctos. "A Spire Silent is an exploration of disillusionment and follows the journey of those few who find the strength to persevere amidst hopelessness and despair. Inspired by the Godless wastelands of Northern Alberta as well as the jagged monoliths of the Canadian Rockies, we bring our unique blend of talents together to create a form of black metal we are truly proud of." FFO: Amiensus, Au-Dessus, UADA
What I Like: It's a fine line to walk: playing with melody while still remaining true to the black metal genre; but I feel that "Dawn, Sons of Death" pulls this off to perfection. While it's generally safer to stick with anger and depression, the intro to this song is filled with a complex mixture of sorrow, longing, and hope. It's not only satisfying on a compositional level; it's something that evokes a deep physical response. And as if to prove that these Canadians aren't just a bunch of softees, the song transitions smoothly into more aggressive territory. The vocals are grim, the guitars ominous, and the atmosphere chilly enough to warrant reaching for a sweater. Over the duration of these three tracks, the band showcases nothing less than solid talent and an ear for melding different modes, textures, and paces into a tight, cohesive EP. The piano on "Altar of Nihil" and soloing on "A Spire Silent" are highlights as well.
Critiques: Nothing here really shocks or surprises me, but nothing dissapoints me either. It's cool how this album can feel like it comes from an earlier time.
The Verdict: Icy-yet-melodic black metal from the North...just not the North we are used to. Arctos have crafted a rewarding, atmosperic experience that is more than worth the price of admission. Stream it below. Digital is less than $3.
Flight's Fav's: Dawn, Sons of Death
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