ARNA
Dragged to a Lunar Grave

Here’s a release I completely overlooked earlier this spring, but as I was searching through the vast Teethofthedivine promo library in search of melodic black metal similar to stuff I recently reviewed by Warmoon Lord, Winter Eternal and Runespell, I stumbled across the short but excellent gem of a debut from this Spanish black metal duo, ARNA. (I love that logo BTW)

Similar to the Kjeld album I covered earlier this year, Ofstan, ARNA deliver a modern form of polished melodic black metal (I hear some of Fluisteraars‘ early work, Luwte), but has some roots in the more primal, 90s second wave (maybe early Borknagar and Satyricon?), corpse paint and all. It’s only 4 songs and 28 minutes long, so it feels more like an long EP rather anda full album, but the long song are effective, simple and riff driven, rarely braking pace.

In particular, second track “Moonknife” delivers a stirring final minute or so of superb melodic black metal that shows when these two lock into something good, it’s good. Same can be said for the opening of standout third track “Dolman”, it’s simply a perfectly rendered example of blistering, modern melodic black metal. Closer “Aunra”has a niceĀ  atmospheric break about half way in, before steeling into a second half of utterly blistering melodic black metal perfection and ending on a nice keyboard drenched fade out to end the song and the release in perfect fashion.

The only downside is that the CD version of this release is n those stupid A5 book /DVD sized cases, so this one is definitely worth a digital purchase and save some cash.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 10th, 2021

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