ARCKANUM – Helvítismyrkr
"Helvítismyrkr" is the seventh full-length album from multi-instrumentalist Shamaatae. Those new to Arckanum can expect modern-sounding black metal with a Viking edge (although Shamaatae is at pains to stress that his music is chaos-gnostic rather than Satan inspired). The layered sound and balanced production work well to create an engrossing and atmospheric journey and the song structures are solid.
For those who checked out last year’s "Sviga Lae", this record is more of the same, yet vaguely disappointing, because although it is by no means a bad album, it offers a similar package, only this time delivered in a slightly less effective fashion.
Overall "Helvítismyrkr" is a very accessible, likable release, but it still feels as if the whole Arckanum project is still gradually descending from the high point that was 2009’s ‘ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ’. Whatever formula Shamaatae hit on back then, it is wearing out and Arckanum need some kind of reinvention if they don’t want to slide back into the abyss.