text: Oscar Wendt
March 24th, 2017
Arvas has been brought to this world back in 1993 and it has already infected this world with three unholy creations. Driven by V-Rex, Arvas is the incarnation of the night, the damned conception blessed from below. With the turn of the month, the band is releasing their fourth opus, Black Path, on the Danish label – Mighty Music.
Starting very aggressively from the first seconds, Black Path doesn’t give you time for run-up. The first moments assure you that you are dealing with black metal. No musical compromises there. I think that although it sounds rather demanding at first, it’s quite easy to get involved in Arvas‘ new tunes at the early stages of listening to Black Path. It has got this flow which I always look for in new music. The way which Black Path seems to be composed in definitely speaks to me already after the first couple of songs.
Certain part will surely make your head go up and down and I think Unhallowed Grace is one the good examples. The mid-song riff is absolutely ace and, with its thrash metal tone, it’s one of many absorbing part on the album. Also, it’s brilliant to hear some heavy metal influences like I am Thy Grief which is definitely one of the most creative tracks on Black Path.
Vocals also correspond to music and they are not imposing themselves on the listener allowing more concentration on the tracks. Coldbound seems to approach the vocal techniques in a traditional way but it clearly works for Arvas and its black art. And the drumming! It’s rather sharply mixed with other instruments and, in general, it gives Black Path the dynamism and that flow which I have mentioned before.
To my great surprise, Black Path is finished up with Mercyful Fate’s cover – Evil. How awesome is that? It is an impressive interpretation of this immortal classic and it acts as a perfect conclusion of the album which conflates heavy, thrash and black metal together! Also, look at this album cover! Just look at it! It’s not the first Arvas cover art which captivates the concept of the album so effectively. MindArtSet has done a great job for the band for sure!
To sum it up, after the first full listen, Black Path seems to have this ‘in your face‘ effect which is certainly most welcome in black metal as you know it. Comparing to the preceding Black Satanic Mysticism, the new album is much rawer with unpolished elements which successfully play with your imagination. Black Path doesn’t have a lot of breathing spaces, it’s very dense and overloaded with nuances that will definitely make you want to play the album again. I think it’s a fantastic addition to Arvas‘ discography and I’m sure that Black Path will be appreciated by a broader audience.