The Arcane Order – Distortions from Cosmogony (Black Lion Records)Wednesday, 31st May 2023
Much akin to founder Flemming C. Lund’s underrated act Autumn Leaves, The Arcane Order has been a melodic death metal band that swerves hard into the death metal part of the genre – with The Arcane Order swerving far enough that it’s almost not worth using the descriptor for said act. But the melodies do run strong within their decidedly brutal framework. Distortions from Cosmogony is the band’s first release since 2015’s Cult of None, and the band’s fourth full-length to date. Yet the time away (and implementation of a new vocalist and bassist in between) has done nothing to wither their resolve – The Arcane Order deliver another winner for those seeking melody within epic destruction.
One constant in the band’s arsenal is the gargantuan wall of sound that they can generate. It’s an overwhelming sensation, one full of towering atmosphere atop of buzzing guitars and roars – particularly when the band plays to their more mid-tempo side. Opening cut, “Cry of Olympus” jumps right into the good stuff in that regard. Buzzing atmosphere floats around the visceral guitarwork, giving it an impressive edge that grabs you at the album’s onset. Just as important to the track is the overall sense of melody within the chaos, with a staggering solo and blackened vibes on the songs second half giving it some added strength. Considering the overall length of most tracks (hovering between 6 to 8 minutes), they don’t overstay their welcome either. “The First Deceiver” moves between tempos and intensities, and never approaching meandering moments by keeping the music moving forwards even in its more melodic and atmospheric moments. “A Blinding Trust in Chosen Kings” also champions these feelings, while giving the music a decidedly heavy underbelly at points, then switching to playfully melodic moments that continue to keep you engaged throughout.
While The Arcane Order has always been a more underground name, they’ve always delivered the goods on par with bigger names in the genre. If you seek death metal with melody and enjoy that particular ‘wall of sound’ approach, you will find much to enjoy with Distortions from Cosmogony.