ARKHUM – Anno Universum
Arkhum play a brutal form of Death Metal supposedly influenced by two of the loves of my young life: HP Lovecraft and Science Fiction. The only trouble is, I can’t really hear those influences in the music.
What I can hear is a schizophrenic amalgamation of deathcore and technical death metal played with frenetic energy. Arkhum know their instruments backwards and can shred and blast with the best of them, but the deathcore elements are too strong, both in the songwriting and the production. The vocals switch from guttural grind to high-pitched shriek, the guitars race through lightspeed scales and the drums alternately storm and pound. The upshot of this is that the truly horrible nature of the riffs is lost and any atmosphere is drowned out by the heavy handed vocals. So, the songs don’t get a chance to engage as they could have and the vibe is too weak to convey the band’s message of cosmic terror.
This is all a pity really, as these guys really have some killer chops and passion in spades. My feeling would be that they need to work on their sound some more. The whole blast – stop – blast –stop thing could be reworked to add much more dynamism and impact and the groovier slow bits and monstrous fast riffs need some room to breathe and work their magic on the listener. Maybe with time and experience these things will come to pass.