Argesk
Realm of Eternal Night

I’ve been on a bit of a new-ish British black metal kick of late with the likes of Wolvencrown, Drakonis, Vegard, Ante-Inferno,  Nefarious Dusk, Sleipnir,And Now the Owls Are Smiling, Shadowflag, The Dying Light and the debut from this Manchester based, symphonic black metal act . Of note to British black metal fans is that Argesk features former Hecate Enthroned drummer Bob Kendrick, who played on lauded albums such as Redimus, Kings Of Chaos, Dark Requiems, and The Slaughter Of Innocence… and to no surprise the release sounds like classic Hecate Enthroned.……..a lot like Hecate Enthoned (so then that include an an innate Cradle of Filth influence too)

Other than Kendrick’s drumming, the vocals of Matt IH also purveys the clear influence, with his very high pitched screeches and deathly bellows, as well as the 90s sounding,nostalgic, sweeping keyboards of Leth. Then you throw in some very competent and enjoyable songs that really capture the more primal 90s symphonic black metal sound to a Tee, you get a pretty damn good album, of course depending on your love of the sound and style.

The album is only 6 real songs with “Spellbound By Candlelight” being an intro before “Lord of the Boundless Night” instantly shows you the band’s unabashed influences. I actually thought I might have accidentally played a track from The Slaughter of Innocence when the track started. The riffs are simple but energetic, feral and catchy throughout the album. From the title track to the thrashier  “Adversary” which uses the sole example of some clean vocals, to my favorite two tracks, the epically melodic “Liberari In Tenebrae” (another real Hecate imbuing tune) and closer “Drowning In Freezing Waters”, which both have killer melodic riffs and majestic symphonics, the album just hits the spot.

The only weak track per say is “In Their Image”, with some less impressive keyboards and a stuttering structures that don’t quite mesh with the rest of the albums direct simplicity, which really hearkens back to a simpler, classic time in symphonic black metal. Clobber Records only has under 20 or so releases under their belt but the tiny UK label has some quality releases I suggest symphonic black metal fans go and check out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 20th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    spot on with the Hecate Enthroned reference, it’s exactly what I thought too. early Catamenia too.


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