Fully shrouded Arcane Marrow create stunning, strange black metal on ‘Elders Present to Me’

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with information, especially when you’re running a site that’s centered on newly released albums, of which there are way too many to ever tackle alone. You should see my inbox. It’s a fucking abomination. Now and again, I get the total opposite of that when I get releases that contain minimal information, and trying to scrub for more is nearly impossible.

That’s not a bad thing at all, as one actually can concentrate on the music and not fuss over details, which I got to do with Arcane Marrow and their enthralling debut “The Elders Present to Me.” While the band is active on social media, there is a shroud of secrecy as to their identities, and all we know is that the union is comprised of members of Primeval Well and Vile Haint. Their raw but melodic form of black metal hails from their cave dwellings, and they mix in some different styles that certainly hints at their interests beyond their sub-genre’s boundaries. That makes for a refreshing listen because it’s full of surprises you don’t see coming, yet it fits quite well, adding a little extra to their storm of power.

“Nocturnal Neanderthal Mysticism” opens amid noise and anguished howls with a melodic surge on top of that. Shrieks rip through as great riffs steamroll as things speed up, and the playing gets even more massive. That spirals into savage vocals and a vicious burst that charges up and heads into “Glacial Tears Flood the Primeval Plains” that delivers icy riffs and raw, wrenching power. The shrieks carve into you as the playing swims through the murk, racing and splattering, storming heavily before a clean sheen brings a dose of calm. “Before the First Notions of God” runs 9:07 and ruptures veins as the guitars take on a classic southern rock-style assault, rollicking as it flattens you. The shrieks tear holes into the cosmos and drive chills down your spine before we’re into a jumbling journey that makes the earth and sky seemingly change places. Pained shrieks rain, the melodies drive dangerously, and everything just unloads, ending things on frenetic terms.

The title track is flush with heartful playing and piercing shrieks, tidal waving onto your shores with massive intensity. Riffs run roughshod as the playing wrecks shop, splattering with sinister guitars that rush through a thick cold front. “The Dismal Woods Receive Me” is the longest track, running 9:25 and bursting to life with a rampaging intensity that lights fires. Shrieks peel back flesh as the black mastery builds, stomping with emotional power, and that causes the waters to darken as the playing just keeps getting more ferocious, leaving you a heaving mess. “An Enveloping Black Harmony” is the closer, and it wastes no time raining down blows and overwhelming you with snaking melodies. The playing sometimes takes on a rock n roll feel, adding a blast of approachability into the mix. Melodies bustle while an indie rock feel lights up and bolts, with the shrieks coming in to maim. Nasty guitars continue to deliver while the blinding rampage sheds blood right to the finish.

While there is little we know about Arcane Marrow on a personal level, the passion and maniacal energy they smash into “The Elders Present to Me” is stuff of magical legend. The band certainly is black metal at its core, but the boundaries they push and the extra elements they work into their DNA help them rise above and capture something special. This is a really mesmerizing, challenging record that will take a few visits to really wrap your head around all of the chaos plastered into this crusher.  

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/arcanemarrow/

To buy the album, go here: https://moonlightcypressarchetypes.bandcamp.com/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/MoonlightCypressArchetypes

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