Arbor - Echoes Over Oceans
Self Financed
Atmospheric Black Metal
Disc 1: 8 songs (46:00) Disc 2: 5 songs (37:00)
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month

Arbor is a young Milwaukee/Green Bay, Wisconsin USA based band. They play a style of music that can't be categorized by one style of metal. Atmospheric, Progressive, Post-Black Metal, the list could go on. If your a fan of bands like Agalloch, keep reading, if atmospheric inspired Black Metal is not your thing, read at your own risk

This double-length(very commendable for an unsigned underground band) release starts off with the song The Beckoning Call, which highlights all the atmosphere, mood, and ever changing melodies you will hear over the next almost ninety minutes. Intricate clean guitar melodies, layers upon layers of atmosphere that are followed by a sonic wall of guitars. The next three songs follow a similar style but not the same song structure. The Black Metal sound is evident, with the heavy guitars, tremolo picking and double bass drumbeats, but like the previous mentioned band, moments of clean guitars follow that adds to the overall atmosphere. While the "clean" sound is crystal clear, the heavier parts have this raw quality to them(not under-produced, but not polished either). The next four songs are sandwiched with two short instrumental tracks that prelude the longer songs that follow. Honestly these songs work well together, but it does bring down the end of the first disc a little bit, I think two longer songs together would have been a better way to go. Just my two cents obviously, and so the first disc ends.

Much like The Beckoning Call, Detachment starts the next disc in the same atmospheric way. A Star-Stretched, Hollow Sky(personally a favorite song title) is probably my favorite disc on the track. I like how the guitars stand out, along with the precision drumming. The use of clean guitars to fill in for ambience works nicely over the faster tempo. I really would love to hear more songs like this from Arbor. I love the progressive black metal feel of this song. Hymnody has some cool melodies and every changing tempos, and that heavy to atmospheric trade off heard on the first disc. The epic in length, The Order Of Things is next, with its sixteen minute and forty second length. The song offers everything that Arbor has showed so far, with changing vocal deliveries, progressive yet black metal tendencies, and a track that bleeds everything from serenity to anger. A World Imagined, has really nice clean guitar arpeggios that sound amazing, before the layers of heavier guitars come in. The song highlights the band's abliity to write something truly atmospheric, that really can get your attention, and also not be boring at all.

This was one of the most difficult releases to review, because of the changing nature of the music, but I am proud to say they are from my home state of Wisconsin. Is this cd going to be a game-changer in the world of metal? Probably not, due to its niche style, and an open-ness that not all metalheads have. If your open minded, or your looking for something new, please head over to the band's Bandcamp page or check out their Facebook.

Killing Songs :
A Star-Stretched, Hollow Sky and The Order Of Things are personal favorites.
Joel quoted 83 / 100
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