Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Arkaid - "Crematoria" (Art Gates Records, 2018)

Band: Arkaid
Title: Crematoria
Genre: Dark Metal with various influences
Time: 34.37 min
Release Date: 16th November 2018
Rating: 73/100

Ultimately Art Gates Rec sent me some "light" albums that don't belong to the usual extreme standards of Timpani allo Spiedo. An example of this is "Mind Pollution" of the Italian alternative metal band New Disorder. And another example comes from the band reviewed today. In fact, now you are going to read the review of "Crematoria", the debut album of Arkaid, a Swedish quartet born in 2013 that, strong of an amazing aesthetics (see the pic band below), offers a very particular mix of styles.

Well, Metal-Archives says that Arkaid plays "Groove Metal/Metalcore". Instead, Art Gates says that they plays "Aggressive Metal". But, maybe, the righter definition is "Dark Metal", even though the question is more complex. Specifically, Arkaid is basically a modern metal band with growling vocals and strong dark tunes but their influences are many, so to range from (stoner) rock to punk rock, or from groove metal to...pop (OH YESSS!!!). Plus, their songs are simple (also because the guitar solos are practically absent here) but very singalong thanks to articulated (and even strongly melodic) gang choruses. And don't forget that some songs see the use of keyboards (able also to give a gothic aura) while there is even the sound of a violin in the final song "Here at the End of All".

Considering all these influences, the tracklist is really various. The first 5 songs are useful to understand better this. In fact, the titletrack, that opens the album, shows rockish tunes with stoner influences. Instead, the following, "Tragical", is essentially the basic Arkaid's song because it combines the modern metal with the dark music (in some songs this combination is more melodic). After that, there is incredibly a funny version of..."Sex Bomb" of Tom Jones! In a more incredible way, the fourth song "The Ruined Bouquet" is a funerary, decadent and gothic ballad whose, in addition, Arkaid made a promotional video with a very nice story. And, changing completely again the mood, "November" is a fast and vivacious punkish number with plenty of drunken choruses that's so funny to be my favorite song of the album. At this point, you can understand that Arkaid love to create a lot of contrast by playing basically 3 types of songs: the darker ones, the rockish ones...and the funnier ones!
But the problem of this big variety is that the tracks can be too different that they seem to be played by another band, so the album isn't homogeneous stylistically speaking, even though there is, at least, two true masterpiece such as "The Ruined Bouquet" and "November". Another problem comes from the fact that some songs repeat the same things from start to finish without imagination, so they could be better structured (i.e. "Wielder of Your Past"). At last, you have to consider that the first part of the album is more interesting and effective the second one.

So, this new incursion of Timpani allo Spiedo into not extreme territories led to a good consideration about "Crematoria", even though it is full of different ideas to be, at times, very confusing. And the stranger thing is that, as I said before, my favorite song is "November", that's very far from the usual dark and modern metal style of Arkaid, so I am a "little bit" confused! In conclusion, I suggest to the band to focus better their style so to create, for the next times, more homogeneous songs but hopefully without losing their various sides.


1 - Crematoria
2 - Tragical
3 - Sex Bomb (Tom Jones cover)
4 - The Ruined Bouquet
5 - November
6 - Far Away
7 - Wielder of Your Past
8 - Dagger and a Drink
9 - Here at the End of All


J.R. "The Law" Kensington - vocals/guitars
Spike - guitars
Delilah Paris - bass
Eric Highbury - drums

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/aarkaid/
Art Gates Records: http://www.artgatesrecords.com/

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