Poema Arcanus
Timeline Symmetry

I’ve learned over the years that I am too quick to judge. Actually, most would probably confess to hastily disregarding a certain CD or band, only to find down the road that you neglected something you really enjoy. This is where we start with Timeline Symmetry. This thing sat in my review pile, shunned, while I ignorantly listened to what I wanted to. The fact that I knew Poema Arcanus was a death/doom act and I should like them is the only reason I gave it a second glance. Glad I did. Though this CD isn’t without its flaws fans of dark emotional doom should check this out.

Hailing from Chile, this band takes European death/doom and adds a lot of progressive elements. Initially I was perplexed. Though the band is firmly placed alongside My Dying Bride the song structures and vocal melodies take this beyond just a doom metal moniker and I’ve found dark metal usually fills that void. For one to really build an objective impression of the bands music it will take multiple listens. Timeline Symmetry is hard to digest on the first run through.

Dark indeed, as there isn’t much to lift ones spirit within these nine tracks. Guitarist Igor Leiva Benavides and vocalist Claudio Carrasco Garcia are directly responsible for this downtrodden atmosphere. The guitar riffs range from sorrowful clean tones to slow plodding distortion with some dissonant chords from time to time only to be accented by low gothic vocals and the occasional death guttural. The vocals are where Poema Arcanus need some work. Though Claudio’s delivery is impressive, sometimes it’s a turn off. He does the gothic, vampire whining a little too much. Timeline Symmetry would bite a lot harder if the roles were switched and the death growls were used more.

Another fatal error in the bands songwriting is how drug out some of these songs can be. I am all for long songs if it is necessary and holds attention but there are a few songs on here (“The Average Mans Odyssey”) that should just end while they are ahead. I find myself loving a few tracks and then they just wonder off into oblivion after five minutes or so.

Similarities to bands can be made. The obvious ones are Opeth (“Raven Humankind”) and My Dying Bride, but you can also find a lot of goth influences like Lacrimas Profundere, Charon, and Fields of Nephilim up front and center on this disc.

So in the end Timeline Symmetry is fun and intriguing, yet the band could use some work on their delivery in my opinion. Still, I’ve had this thing playing for over a week and it sticks over time. Definitely a band to watch in the future and fans of dark metal sub-genres should take a listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
November 12th, 2009


  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Good review. This album has a few weak spots, especially the clean vocals, but when these guys are on its fucking powerful. One of my recent favorites.

  2. Commented by: shane

    The more you listen to this the more addicting it is. I actually like his vocals now. Weird. Looking back into their discography this is definitely their shining moment.

  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Claudio’s not a particularly gifted clean vocalist but somehow he makes it work and I find myself humming his melodies afterwards. The guy’s harsh vox are excellent, though. He should use those more often. Still, Poema is one of Chile’s best doom bands along with Uaral and Mar De Grises.

  4. Commented by: Shane

    Yeah I actually find myself humming his melodies now as well. It is addictive after a few spins. This record is way better than the last one though. Hopefully they stay on track with this in the future.

  5. Commented by: Old Griefgiver


  6. Commented by: Apollyon

    Thanks for the heads-up. Review corrected accordingly.

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