Odem Arcarum - Outrageous Reverie Above The Erosion Of Barren Earth
Osmose Productions
Progressive Black Metal
7 songs (1:05:12)
Release year: 2010
Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Now there’s an album title to remember! Germany’s Odem Arcarum have been banging away in the underground since 1995, with just two full-lengths to their name. This is the second and it’s a damn good one, eerie and meandering Black Metal that doesn’t sacrifice technicality or originality for anyone. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lord Arioch has been a part of several other impressive names, providing bass to Negură Bunget and guitar to Secrets Of The Moon, whilst guitarist Skoarth was in the well-regarded Lunar Aurora. As mystical and intriguingly esoteric as the artwork, the music flows well, progressive-touched riffs sliding over each other and creating a chasm of sound, distant keyboards adding merged melodies to create the sort of album that you have to listen to multiple times to ‘get’ properly.

Some bands make this a chore, but Odem Arcanum are smarter than that, keeping the listener on their aural toes as, for example, descending guitar scales clash with Hammond-esque organs amidst a torrential downpour of blastbeats on the sixteen-minute Hell And Revelation. The album title actually makes a kind of sense, as there is a sort of trance-like hypnotic quality to the music, which is outrageously good! With the shortest track present being tense two-minute intro Gate, the average length of the others is well over seven, with five tracks over nine minutes, and yet this Outrageous Reverie... doesn’t suffer for it at all. You’re caught up in the action around you as if it’s an especially good film; Oceans rises up like a tidal wave, shades of early Enslaved appearing and vanishing before epic orchestral grandeur crashes all around you, and the following spooky opening and Immortal-esque torrential downpour of Worlds Of Barren Land is even better, turning towards twisty technicality in its later moments, reminiscent of the best aspects of later Emperor.

High praise indeed, but yes, Odem Arcarum deserve it. The Progressive elements are carefully controlled, never allowed to become too drawn-out or to detract from the Black Metal experience as a whole, and the songwriting is terrific, complex and intelligent, something rarer than you’d think. The thought that went in is quite interesting to try and dissect - spooky ghost-synths in Loss combine and combust with the discordant guitars and fluid blastbeats, ending in ambience, strange percussion and piano combining to excellent effect. The Body And Perpetual Imagination opens in a gently meandering Opethian way before building into something more traditionally black and twisted, whilst finale A Darker Kind Of Dreaming brings the album to a close with style. There’s not a great deal more that can be said, really. Mixing the traditional and the progressive, the atmospheric and the head-banging, Odem Arcarum deserve the attention of Black Metalheads everywhere.

Killing Songs :
Oceans, Worlds Of Barren Land, Loss, Hell And Revelation, A Darker Kind Of Dreaming
Goat quoted 88 / 100
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