Premiere: Arkheth – “Dark Energy Equilibrium”
We cover a lot of progressive and straight-up weird black metal around these parts, but Arkheth‘s 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew is something different entirely. Dark, twisting, and mysterious, this upcoming black metal epic is a raucous ride through morbid fantasies. It also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun, calling back to the fresh vibrancy of the 80s and early 90s. Today, I’m pleased as hell to premiere “Dark Energy Equilibrium.”
Coming to us from Australia by way of Transcending Obscurity, 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew is an odd mash-up of recognizable elements blended together in a bad drug trip (just look at that wild cover art) and chundered out into a Jackson Pollock splattering of arcane horror. It’s got a catchy Carach Angren sense of narrative development, a jaunty Howls of Ebb syncopated flow, a Greytomb riff sensibility, and a White Ward deployment of cloying saxophone. On paper, none of that should work. In execution, it’s a wild, thrilling ride that sounds far more playful and memorable than it has any right to be.
It’s also a hell of a lot of fun. “Dark Energy Equilibrium” evokes both mid-80s thrash metal (like Flotsam and Jetsam) and first wave black metal with its opening cleans blending into heavy yet distinct distorted riffs. The emphasis here is on the hooks and the details; rarely do Arkheth devolve into a full-tilt blastfest, instead preferring to get you singing along to the throaty tales of the witches brew while Tyrone ‘Tyraenos’ Kostitch’s guitars divebomb and erupt against a stately and never overwhelming kick backbone, accented by minute flourishes of sax from Glen Wholohan.
It’s not often I find myself smiling during a black metal opus, but here we are. “Dark Energy Equilibrium” is a trip, but you’ll happily be croaking along the entire way as the spell unfolds.
12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew drops February 20th via Transcending Obscurity. Order it on Bandcamp and say hi to the band on Facebook.