Thursday, July 29, 2021

Arcane Marrow - The Elders Present to Me

 Crawling forth from the cavernous underground, Arcane Marrow hailing from Tennessee, have presented us with their first debut offering, The Elders Present to Me. This is a raw, aggressive, yet mystic album. Its roots are firmly set within the world of raw and lo-fi black metal, but is not afraid to experiment and fuse inspirations from other genres. If you cut through the thick production style, you'll find twisting guitar riffs, colorful solos, and head pounding blast beats that leave for a very memorable listen.

Getting right into it, you'll immediately notice the raw production style. The opening of the album, you're greeted with white noise that could either be field recordings of wind blowing through the forest, or the raw feedback of a guitar. Either way, it sets the mood and the foggy, somewhat dream like atmosphere this album portrays. Cutting through the noise are the vocals of a haunted man, crying out in pain to greet the intensity of the music. The riffs all through out the album are very unique and fit well with the naturalistic atmosphere, as these themes are presented all through out with the vocals, ranging from pre-historic times of ancient man, to mystical and stark nature of the environment the musicians surround them selves with.

The range of the song writing is what strikes me as unique as well. Typically, these raw acts tend to fall into the trappings of keeping the music simple and straight forward, with only one or two riffs per song and maybe, if you're lucky, a change in pace from the drums. But you won't find that with this release. As each song almost has a progressive nature to them, with plenty of variety you won't get bored listening as you're caught in its hypnotic trance. On top of that are the eclectic guitar solos that really blow you away if you're not expecting them. Typically, black metal isn't known for their solos, but that doesn't stop this band from showing it off. They perfectly blend in with the song structure, and are able to stand out from the raw noise of the background guitars. They're almost like a mixture of blues, folk, and other such Americana style sounds that truly makes the band stand out amongst its peers.

I only have one gripe with this album and that it ends much to abruptly. The last track, All Enveloping Black Harmony, is a great way to describe the song at hand. Its riffing patterns flow between one another with ease and harmony, and the solos on the track as well, but what struck me as odd was just how suddenly it all ended. Personally, I wouldn't know what I'd do to change it, but it certainly left me wanting more. Perhaps its a good thing, as it draws me deeper into the music, and makes me anxiously await future releases from the band.

Arcane Marrow, and the label that they're released on, Moonlight Cypress Archetypes, in my opinion, have impacted the black metal scene in a big way. Their fusions of genres and dark nature create for a very unique and individualistic approach to a somewhat tiring genre, especially in the 'raw' and 'lo-fi' scene, which sadly falls into the same trappings over and over. But, these guys truly break the mold, and create something for them selves, regardless of what others think. This is a big recommendation from me, and I'll surely be exploring the rest of the label's releases. Hopefully it'll hold me over til the next release from this band.


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