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jools green
5th March 2018
Jools Green


It's rare these days an album truly surprises me but '12 Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew' the third full length from Australian Experimental Black Metal duo Arkheth initially left me speechless, a rare occurrence.

It's just so unique. It also feels a little incorrect to describe it as experimental because this is skilfully and thoughtfully assembled and involves rare talent indeed.

Sound-wise it's both haunting and bizarre, an extraordinary intense mix of aspects of pretty much every Metal genre you can imagine all cleverly melded, the core being black, blended in the most unique and organic manner.

It has melody yet there is a strong discordant edge but the winning factor is the inclusion of the superbly deranged saxophone.

You can't compare this to any other band but just to give a vague insight, think of the hypnotic quality of Oranssi Pazuzu and Arcturus, the insanity of Sigh, the "saxy" off the wall nature of 'Pan Thy Monium', particularly their 'Wall of Dreams' EP and the haunting majesty of 'Somnium Nox' and you'll be a small part of the way there.

The band comment, "The inspiration for this album came directly from the ancient and unknown past the mankind and its connection to the Earth and Cosmos. The primary source was the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus and his path to enlightenment.

"This is an important chapter for Arkheth in its evolution both musically and on its journey as an entity that continually seeks a deeper knowledge and connection with the Cosmos."

The five tracks are all weighty offerings too, all coming in between six and eleven minutes, each a unique and individual stand-alone piece, linked only by the mindset of creators Tyrone 'Tyraenos' Kostitch, performing all Instruments and Glen Wholohan, the man behind the saxophone.


'Trismegistus' opens on bizarre unnerving sound bites, bursting into intense off kilter riffing, acerbic blackened vocals, neck breaking direction switching that defies logic, and equally oblique deranged saxophone that walks the line between madness and genius.

'Dark Energy Equilibrium' is the longest track, a superb builder with a haunting repeat that builds in energy and intensity, a sinister deep yet clear blackened vocal delivery that sends a chill down your spine and haunting sax to soothe your now fevered brow before turning into an intense chunk of insanity.

'Where Nameless Ghouls Weep' is organic and bestial with skewed guitars, howling beasts and a deranged vocal delivery all echoed by that crazy sax and crushing doomy black riffs.

'The Fool Who Persists in His Folly' a punchy deranged and hypnotically slanting piece with acerbic vocals and an unnerving laugh, turning a little reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh midway, with closing very emotive sax that will bring a lump to your throat.

Finally 'A Place Under the Sun', where stormy sound bites precede a rich haunting guitar focused soundscape that is enhanced by haunting epic cleans and delicate haunting keyboards. It's punctuated by vitriolic blackened vocals and haunting saxophone, in all, a thing of bizarre beauty Arketh-style.

Even the album artwork by UK artist T Bare McClough is fittingly out there with an array of psychedelic images that in no way suggest Black Metal, but this is no ordinary Black Metal album it's an extraordinary one.

'12 Winter Moons Comes The Witches Brew' is available on Transcending Obscurity Records (India).




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