Arcanar - _Dusty Lord_
(Stygian Crypt Productions, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
Autumn's debut album, supposedly, a cult Slavic doom album, left a less than stellar impression upon me when I heard the re-release earlier this year. Autumn have since broken up and two members migrated to form Arcanar, alongside three other musicians.

_Dusty Lord_ is their debut, reportedly a year in the making. And it sounds like it too -- their multifaceted approach combines aggression with matured melancholy in a manner rarely heard on a debut.

Out of the nine songs present, one is a piano based intro, another two are acoustic ├ętudes of classical finger-picking, whilst a fourth is an instrumental, leaving only five "real" songs to fill the gaps. These real songs plus the instrumental are ostensibly doom numbers, but Arcanar borrow from sources as diverse as death and jazz to create their own idiosyncratic sound that goes beyond easy pigeonholing. Placed within a melancholic context, they avoid the "kitchen sink" approach that scuppers many bands with an experimental edge, and produce an album as cohesive as it is entertaining.

Arcanar are yet another Russian doom band on the Stygian Crypt label who have opted to sing in their native tongue, which means that Anglophones such as yours truly are left clueless as to their lyrical content. That's by-the-by, as the music is sufficient to convey their message -- one which deserves to be heard beyond the boundaries of the former Iron Curtain.


(article published 4/11/2007)

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