Arcane Mountain Cult

Formed in 2004 Aldaaron are legends of the French Black Metal scene. In fact, it’s hard for me to talk about the likes of Deathspell Omega, Anorexia Nervosa or Ad Hominem without mentioning these Grenoble, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes based titans.

With their initial full-length Nous Reviendrons Immortels (2010) and follow up Suprême Silence (2012) then nothing for ten years until the Call to Glory single this year, I’m assuming leading up to this release. When I saw that they were coming out with a new album I was immediately excited, since those former releases are required listening as far as I’m concerned.

“Prologue” is simple, a rising tide shrouded in triumphant darkness, menacing and majestic; a calm before the storm of “Pride and Sorrow” a blast beat inferno with lyrics that speak of the warriors long gone. Following that call to arms, the first of the eleven-minute tracks come in like a light snowfall before hitting blizzard status, literally your speakers might freeze from the drop in temperature, “Arcane Mountain Cult” is a journey through the snow-covered wilderness at a relentless pace over a fierce riff. This ode to frozen peaks takes a break to be stunning at the 5.38 mark with swirling wind effects and thunder.

Next up is “Morgoth” the second of the five-minute slashers, it blasts along at Marduk speed even boasting a soaring solo 3.26 minutes in. It’s closing track “Adorned with Frost” that seals the album together, raging and blasting at first before slowing for a splendid interlude and ripping and tearing frantically within seconds, Aldaaron handle tempo changes seamless as blood flows, they understand that pacing is the most effective way to lull the audience into submission before levelling them and “Adorned with Frost” does just that, an avalanche of brutal savagery.

Arcane Mountain Cult is a solid addition to Aldaaron’s victories. As far as 2022 Black Metal releases go; this record sits nicely with Ad Infenum Omnia and fellow countrymen Deathspell Omega, both reviewed here and highly recommended by me (guy with a laptop). For fans of the bands mentioned above, and Mutiilation, just because they’re fucking sick and they’re French. What are you waiting for, then?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
December 2nd, 2022


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