Underground Sounds: Arkthinn – VI

Label: Fallen Empire Records
Band: Arkthinn
Origin: Unknown

Preface to this review is that the band Arkthinn is a completely mysterious entity ‘from the north’, connected to the bands Mahr and Voidsphere, who make up the Prava Kollektiv. Only one band has known origins, which are in the USA and France. Probably, Arkthinn shares atleast part of that origin. This is their latest demo, titled simply ‘VI’.

The band likes to repeat themselves in certain aspects of their work, like the magnificent images of the sky on the cover of each album. This one features a mountain peak underneath a starry sky, with a snow-capped peak. An image that instantly sets the mood and sparks the imagination of the listener.
There’s something hazy to the sound Arkthinn spits out on ‘I’. Aptly named by the way, so it gives away nothing in further information for the listener. It’s heavily distorted sound, creates a distance to the tormented wailes and in effect emulates the starry sky in its untouchable, ungraspable nature. This works particularly well for the listener experience, as the 20+ minute track unfolds in to a cacophonous battery of unrelenting chaos with blunted blast beats and inhuman screeches and abyssal wails.
The second track is a lot less dynamic, but even so, much more harrowing. Droning sounds enter the vastness of space and form a singularity that disturbes the cold silence. None of the sounds is clear enough to really make out, but it is very clear that the music is not ment to please but disturb from the get go. Twenty minutes adrift in the dark and by that time fear and nervousness emerge in the listener. A bold effort indeed by Arkthinn.
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