Arwat – Aryan Heretic EP
1. Black Magic Spell Of Doom
Since the Croatian metal scene has been a bit dry these past few years, rarely you come across a new band, let alone a new band that plays something unique or interesting. You either get copies of something already done to death, or something that tries to be new and innovative but then ends up being different for the sake of different and is almost never interesting. Happy to say that this new EP by the band Arwat is nothing like that. This is a very interesting release to listen to through and through and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
What’s most interesting about this EP is how diverse and varied the tracks actually are. There are mid-tempo rockers with black metal influences (but definitely classic metal influences), there are longer more epic tracks as well as influences from different genres of music in general. The guys in Arwat obviously love different music as well which can be heard in, for example, outro for “Horda” where we are treated with a nice and funky outro to an otherwise black metal track through and through. Since I know these guys personally, I know they’ve been playing music for a long time now in different projects so it’s no surprise how tight this sounds. Event the recording quality is very good, and every instrument sounds clear and easily audible.
The EP opens conveniently with a short and catchy infectuous little track “Black Magic Spell of Doom” which might be one of the coolest track names in metal just because it’s an amalgam of very commonly used words for metal songs, and yet I’ve never heard of a song that uses the exact same word combinations as this one, so there’s that. It’s catchier than a pox and serves as a perfect opener. It harkens to Satyricon in their later days, if you enjoyed their “Now, Diabolical” record, you’ll love this one. The midtempo riff and vocal lines are very easy to remember and sing along to. The rest of the songs are at least double as long but they have enough content musically to keep it interesting during the whole run. I have not been bored a single second listening to this EP.
There’s no shortage of good riffs on this record, and I’d say some of my favorite ones lie in “Archduke of Nemetin“ (which might be the funniest and at the same time coolest name for a song) which also includes Beethoven’s No.9. Symphony played on electric guitar. Must admit, did not see that one coming. It’s followed by some solid guitar soloing and then some more riffs up their sleeves. There are some silly vocal lines thrown in as a joke but even though they come out of nowhere they complement the song in some way, and they are always followed by good musicianship around it. “Vastator Dei” opens with a neckbreaker riff that I challenge you not to headbang to from the first seconds. It also marks the return of harsh vocals, and these are very well done. Easily my favorite song on the record. “Horda” opens with a Burzum sounding riff (which for sure has been an influence on the band in some way as well) and a nice marching militaristic drum beat before bursting into a midpaced black metal riff combined with the first verse.
The vocal performance is done by both Branimir and Domagoj (guitars) with Mislav (bass) providing backing vocals aswell and it ranges from black metal shrieks to good old classic metal vocals sung cleanly. It’s interesting to hear how seamless the change is when it happens in a song. Normally, when it comes to vocal performance, you’d get either full on black metal performance or clean vocal performance. Not in this case, as every song utilizes both vocal styles, and there are even some low death growls here and there (latter half of “Vastator Dei”). That song also has my favorite lyrics on the EP and they remind me of “A Dangerous Meeting” by Mercyful Fate (I’m sure you all know the one, where people summon spirits around the table then the spirits murder them), as it tells a tale of a malevolent being as a threat to humanity. “As above, so below, Baphomet, we call you now, come to us, bring us destruction this day.”
True metal coming from the heart on this release, you can’t go wrong by giving it a listen. Amazing combination of influences ranging from old school metal to the Norwegian black metal classics, if you like your metal diverse with various influences that spice up the song without compromising the metal elements, this release is for you.
Favorite moments: the intro riffset of “Horda”, the guitar solo of “Archduke of Nemetin”, the entirety of “Vastator Dei.”
Written by Dino Bečarević