Arcana Coelestia - Le Mirage De L'ideal
Doom Metal
6 songs (48:12)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Thomas
Album of the year

One of the unhealthy parts of meself is, or rather was that I tend to be very pre-judgmental. I could despise whole genres, judge bands by what they were labeled as on metal-archives and similar sites. I used to think that this can by any means not be for me, since I’ve had bad experiences with 90% of similar bands . I could even go as far as stating that this and that sucks just because it was tagged as something I wasn’t particularly fond of. Well, luckily for me change has come in the shape and form of Arcana Coelestia. I hesitated a lot before giving this a try, since it was labeled doom metal, a genre I use(d) to find fantastically boring and soulless. But this, this is different, and it might be wrong of me to review since I’m not the biggest doom expert around, but I choose to do it anyway and you are free to decapitate me if you must in the thread attached. I never expected the tsunami of despair that nearly drowned me when I first put this on, and I never expected it to leave me somewhat changed after the first couple of spins. I’m sure however, that this is what the band intends to, as they’re solely based on the Swedish writer August Strindberg and his opus Inferno. He who lived a life on the border of madness, tormented by the prophecies and visions put to paper by his master E. Swedenborg in the his text Arcana Coelestia which is undoubtedly where the band got their name from.

The only thing, if any, that comes to mind when thinking of something to compare this to is Mithras. This is in no way ultra-fast experimental death metal, but the sounds and the FX used here as well as the atmosphere may be compared to their English partners in crime. Giving you the impression that this is fast would be entirely wrong, as this is slower than a turtle yet still mighty and powerful enough to crush your angst-filled heart with the hammer of doom. Straight from the beginning of this journey of the soul, MZ of Locus Mortis enthralls your sanity with heart-clutching sounds and slow crushing riffs that will cause mountains to tremble and seas to overflow. Duskfall might be one of the most touching tunes I have heard to date, as it left me emptied and speechless. LS sounds like he’s tearing his soul to pieces when twisting his wretched screams out of his tormented deep. In addition to that, his sorrowful clean vocals are like a hostile wind in a soft environment. It causes confusion, but in a good way, it adds more depth and variation and is in many ways the climax, the final outbreak of sadness and despair. The hurricane of sounds and atmospheric guitar-riffs blends together into a powerful storm that’ll leave its marks. During Requiem (For The Fathomless Void Of Redemption), I couldn’t help but imagine an epic battle where everything froze as the sky cracked and a power greater that anything emerged. Everyone lost their weapons, stared startled at the sky and let the apocalyptic force absorb them whole until nothing was left, which more or less describes how I feel inside when I have listened to this. Even the seemingly boring, entirely spoken Tragedy & Delirium II (The Delirium) is leaving an impact, which says a lot as I tend to despise stuff like that in general.

I cannot describe furthermore how this album sounds. The riffs, the atmosphere and the vocals are the keys here, and together they opened a door to an entirely different musical universe for me. This review may come out as something entirely subjective, but on the other hand, if this fails to make any impression on you at all, then you haven’t listened closely enough. As ...Thus Fade in Nocturnal Deluge concludes this masterpiece, and really sums up the album as a whole, I once again feel the urge to be filled with emptiness again. If you want to hear what Mithras might have sounded like if playing slow, emotive and depressive doom metal, then you should get to this one as soon as possible. This struck me rather timely and made a huge impact, and who would’ve thought that a guy who is mostly into the faster, catchier and more technical side of metal as well as metal of the older school, would make a apocalyptic doom metal album like this his album of the year? I do not believe that Slayer or Iron Maiden for that matter, will release anything that touches me in the same way that this did. You may like it, or you may not. I guess it really depends on the mood you’re in. Either way, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Killing Songs :
Not a single weak track here
Thomas quoted 95 / 100
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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