ARKHA SVA - GLORIA SATANAE
i've been on a major black metal binge lately, and of the filthy merchants of blackened evil i've managed to drudge up to satisfy my thirst, ARKHA SVA stands out above the rest. like any truly excellent black metal, little information is available about these freaks, but some gracious soul over at last.fm added this bio:
"Arkha Sva was formed in 1996. Their contact address is in France, but the band members are from Japan. Aside from their country of origin, not much concrete information exists about the band members. They are rumored to have some affiliation with the Les Légions Noires, and they are considered as LLN successors by some. Vordb of Belketre created the Arkha Sva logo used on the cover of Gloria Satanae in classic LLN style and provided the intro track to their Rekonquista demo. They employ a mix of high-pitched falsetto shrieking and aggressive growls, and they are known to use chanted interludes in their music."
par for the course, this record is fucking MENACING (like pretty much everything in their catalog i've heard so far). vocals alternate between deep CORRUPTED-like gutteral growls to demonic and possessed shrieks, to operatic, MAIDEN-esque piercing highs. interludes are borderline silly and disgusting ghoul chants over dark ambient soundscapes, quickly creeping in and out of the mix before another track of blistering and icy bombast. the riffage on the opening of "down in blaze and pain" is so perfect and actually fresh sounding. "thy baptism" is another perfect example of the supremely hateful darkness these creeps can churn out, with unrelenting blasts and walls of razor-thin reverbed guitars building up till it all bottoms out in a haze of ghostly riffs and quavering upper register howls, only to return to their signature pummeling force. a new classic has arrived on a dark horse, ready to take your soul and burn the remains.