5 tracks, 32 min.

1 Dead Lady's Diary 6'10
2 My Life 6'37
3 Nemesis 6'12
4 The Lonely Prisoner 5'18
5 The Arkhanians 7'26




Greg - vocals

Sebastien  - bass

Stéphane - guitar - keyboard - drum programming

Chris - guitar


ARKHAN: "Dead End"    arkhan     

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered in Massongex "The Happiest Town in the World" by Steph and Chris (April-July 2003).

review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

An aggressive dark mixture of melodic Black /Death with valuable symphonic , harmonic windows

I can really imagine that every beginning for every band is a difficult thing: it is difficult to find a rehearsal room, it is difficult to find the right line up, it is difficult to self produce a CD, it is difficult to gather gigs, and lots  of other difficult details. in one word: difficult. But this young band whose beginning surely was not easy seems to win every difficulty and to keep up the way to become  a presence in the scene. Arkhan were founded just towards the end of 2001 by 3 of the still current members . A certain  experience on their shoulders:  cause these 3 members  were playing in extreme metal bands like  Ipsum and Feel my Hate. But  practically it's only 2 years that this band exists  with this profile, and ,  in so a short time, they have solved many  problems  and, with the addition of Stéphane, they seem to have  also reached a stable and well united line up. From  French Switzerland  they present their first work: a mini CD with 5 tracks that clearly let understand the dark and rather extreme choice of the band whose predilection for Black Metal techniques are  indisputable.   Arkhan is a re-formation of hope , a new begin , holding strongly the Black metal roots, enriched by the melody and the atmosphere of piano and keys. 

 So, Arkhan 's attitude is really focused mainly on Melodic Black but also with the inclusion of  Melodic Death features . Vocals tend to go a bit towards Deicide timbre but are flexible enough to include also a wide spectrum of action. And guitars offer tremolo technique and raw rhythmics. 

Opener Dead Lady's Diary is a varied track with a very interesting intro. It develops then into a body that is agreeable but maybe under the expectations aroused by the intro , anyway good enriched by  melodic piano insertions and by a outro with  symphonic characteristics. Some tempo changing is a bit brusque but not disagreeable.  

Extremely energetic and vibrating, the second track My Life makes the CD take off with  a melodic Black / Death in  more classical style with attacks and guitar embroidery. Low growlings and melodic outro with piano  complete the picture which has a successful and fluent structure. In few words this second track is a valuable one. 

Nemesis opens with an impressive intro which delivers   symphonic  spheric temperament and an impressive drum machine. The passages through fast tempos and mid and slower atmospheric ones are very calibrated and good performed. Arkhan remain always very straight to the point never exaggerating with infrastructures like  atmospheric or symphonic backscapes so that the power of the guitars is still full in foreground , and , in this third track, guitars are doing an awesome work until the central symphonic part  finally becomes protagonist with a lot of grandeur, but appearing gradually and taking  the peak after that a solid metal guitar expression has fully burst on us. This central  and final part of the song, where the symphonic backscape stands and shines and is triumphant, a bit  in Dimmu Borgir style, still never puts a shadow on guitars and flawless vocals . 

The fourth song The Lonely Prisoner is another explosion of a Black that reminds me of  sanguine  schools of German and Austrian bands, with a final release of tension, involving more and more also melodic Death sonorities with a slowing down into a very heavy lively mid tempo ,  till the coming back of  a fast attack and of a final slight pounding  slowing down. Tempo changes like waves that makes the general frame round . 

The Arkhanians is more nervous  with some stop start proceeding , many tempo changes and a wide melodic and intense window counterbalanced by a heavy pounding rhythmic riffing, all this is followed then  by  a raw galloping ,and slowing's down to a doom abyss and speeding's  up . Melodic insertions run after intense attacks never forgetting an harmonic sense of phrases. 7: 22 minutes, not easy but enjoyable, maybe this song is even too varied and ends too brusque but it is surely an opus in itself with some brilliant passages. 

There is still something  to improve concerning  the playing technique but the ability and the general picture is more than average. Moreover the  drum machine is programmed well, and, waiting for a proper drummer , this is one of the best  programming ever heard: varied and with a satisfactory thickness. Their music is obscure with an identity and even if they  still don't get  the wonderful self- confidence of the Italian DecadencE,  Arkhan   have in their hands the "license to compose" a very interesting , aggressive, meaningful melodic Symphonic even Prog  Black (though i personally wouldn't increase the quote dedicated eventually  to Prog tendencies). First mini CD, done with so much work among the above mentioned difficulties. But i think it was worth:  Dead End is not an "end" but a new born ( 21th August 2003)  musical promise for the future. But  promises must be kept then! 

Rating: 8/10


dalia di giacomo    

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