Arvas – Into the Realm of the Occult (Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum)

Wednesday, 22nd January 2014
Rating: 9/10

Six-hundred and sixty-six percent SATANIC BLACK METAL just about sums it up for Arvas. Raucously shredding guitar, deadly shuddering drums, and devilishly vociferous screams all barrage into inverted hymns of hell and pandemonium. With interminable intensity riven to multiple audio channels, Arvas’s second full-length album, Into the Realm of the Occult, is precisely the type of unruly metal that will shake windows and blow out speakers, written and recorded to be played loud and without boundaries.

What a haphazardly tragic, hectic, but valiant timeline the band has traced! Back in 1987, V-Rex, the overseeing deviser of Arvas, instilled his journey through metal jamming with a number of local groups in Norway, a country quite notorious for its metal scene. Over his career, V-Rex has played and recorded with bands such as Aeternus, Ancient, Cold Eternity, Dødsfall, and Frozen Cries. Before establishing Arvas, V-Rex’s own project was called Örth. Following a series of calamities like V-Rex’s arrest for stabbing someone, though some refer to the conduct as “metal,” then the dreadful suicide of ex-Immortal/ex-Gorgoroth’s Erik “Grim” Brødreskift, the ending result was the splitting of Örth, and two years later, the deliverance of Arvas. The ongoing development of Arvas’s music certainly displays V-Rex’s passionate undertaking of black metal.

In addition to the nine new songs, Into the Realm of the Occult also contains three live titles originally from Arvas’s first full-length, Blessed from Below… Ad Sathanas Noctum. It’s no wonder why these tracks are included, they are certainly worth listening to. Sure, the sound is slightly distorted and less clean, but even more vicious and raw. Some may even prefer the chaotic step-up of the live recordings over the sharpness of the originals.

As austerely expressed in “Intro” and “Outro,” Arvas wallop in wrath, penetrating into despondent realms of bleak darkness where even wolves would seldom cease to howl. But for Arvas, these pieces, as titled, are just the intro and outro, the warm up and cool down, of the wickedly blackened recordings of Into the Realm of the Occult. And, here’s something to look forward to – Arvas’s third album is said to be recorded come spring 2014! Considering all presented, we can anticipate another magnificent work from Arvas.

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