Coffin Storm / The Feisty Doom-tinged Metal Of Arcana Rising

Combining three veterans of Heavy Metal from the same area might be guaranteed to bring you results, but that’s not always the case. Coffin Storm sees the musical debut of three Black Metal icons: Apollyon (Aura Noir/Lamented Souls), Bestial Tormentor (Infernö/Lamented Souls), and Fenriz (Darkthrone). Arcana Rising brings a six-track package of songs that have their origins in the Kolbotn area of Norway, where the three musicians originate, bringing with it an interesting dynamic.

Coffin Storm – Arcana Rising (Peaceville)

Release Date: 29 March 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

One might expect a shimmering Black Metal assault on the senses, but Coffin Storm draw deep from a range of styles to craft a different approach to what may be expected.

The songs are sprawling Heavy Metal, with Fenriz’s instantly recognisable vocals the first thing to acknowledge. He gives no quarter, and despite some rather odd variations, there’s nothing to dislike as the album develops.

Coffin Storm – Arcana Rising - An album that every fan of Doom-tinged Metal should hear.
Coffin Storm – Arcana Rising – An album that every fan of Doom-tinged Metal should hear.

The first track that was released also opens the album. Over Frozen Moors is the shortest song on the album, just over six minutes, but it gives early indications of the huge riff fest that is unwinding in front of the listener.

The song switches from a Thrash to a Doom riff across the space of a few minutes, with the rhythm shift towards the end echoing Candlemass. It’s a myriad of styles in the first few minutes and a real taster of what is about to be unleashed.

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Whilst epic may be a bit over-the-top, the title track certainly has shades of such majesty. Fenriz’s enunciation and deep baritone delivery is glorious, whilst the slow, slab-cracking riffs which once more sit in the Heavy Doom area, are huge. A narrative section is provided with theatrical flourish as the song lumbers like a giant megalodon with added bite.

Coffin Storm’s roots stretch back to 2021’s early collaborations and for Apollyon and Tormentor, to 2007 when they were in Lamented Souls. Their collective experience brings a confidence in their music which few can match.

Although more Doom than other styles, the tempo is such that it rarely drops completely into that genre. Apollyon has stated similar. “Initially, I was assuming the music would be Doom Metal,” he told us. “I think all of us had Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in mind but even if our songs are slow/mid-tempo, the riffs ended up being more thrashy than I had expected.

“Only the title track is pure Doom simply because it’s a song me and Bestial Tormentor made some 20 years ago that we were uber eager to hear Fenriz’ ravishing vocal lines on.”

Whilst all the songs are long, the ten-minute plus strains of Open The Gallows is certainly a standout song, with a relentless chug that powers the track forward. A rousing anthem, it leads to the dramatic Eighty-Five And Seven Miles, which sees Fenriz at his most animated, wailing and soaring in a gothic majesty over some of the heaviest and most powerful passages on the album.

The echoes of chunky Slayer-type riffage that lurk underneath provide a surprising change, but it is also welcomed.

Arcana Rising is certainly a release that is designed to bang your head too. If there’s one criticism that could be levelled here, it would be the slightly repetitive style, but musicians of this calibre can pull through any such challenges with style.

The Slayer-esque riffs emerge once more on Ceaseless Abandon, and it’s here that, for the first time, I’m a little distracted. Once you are acquainted with it, the guitar tone becomes much more engaging and part of the song. There is a thick Sabbath-style riff to provide further intensity, and Fenriz’s unorthodox delivery is at its wildest.

Whilst there have been flashes of Thrash throughout, it’s towards the finale of this penultimate track where Coffin Storm launch into a more ferocious and extreme focus. It works a treat with the final third of the song some of the most impressive work on Arcana Rising.

Having said that, each song has its merits, and no more so than the atmospheric finish of Clockwork Cult, which brings Arcana Rising to an epic and feisty conclusion.

A work of many years, Coffin Storm’s debut is an album that every fan of Doom-tinged Metal should hear.

Sleeve Notes

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