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Arnaut Pavle > Arnaut Pavle > Reviews
Arnaut Pavle - Arnaut Pavle

Nearly perfect in every way. - 90%

MEMES, June 4th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2013, Digital, Fallen Empire Records (Bandcamp)

Arnaut Pavle is a somewhat frustrating project. On one hand, this band has produced one of the best black metal releases I've ever heard. On the other hand, they refuse to record and release a full length album. It seems that they just want to release this demo and vanish off the face of the earth, but not before they assault our ears with some black metal.

What we have here is a seven song demo consisting of some extremely raw, crusty and memorable black metal. It's kind of like Darkthrone (Under a Funeral Moon to be exact) in quite a few ways. Some of the riffs sound like they could have been used in Under a Funeral Moon (see "Drop the Coffin"), hell one of the riffs in "Massgraves Call" sounds like a dead ringer for one of the riffs in the title track of Under a Funeral Moon and the production is just about as cold, if not colder than Under a Funeral Moon. But just because this band copies Darkthrone somewhat doesn't mean that they're bad in any way.

The aforementioned riffs are fantastic, there's never a dull moment on this record and every single song rips through everything in the way. Most of the album goes at a pretty fast pace, but Arnaut Pavle isn't afraid to slow down a bit and make it a little doomier with huge riffs, as seen on "Eat the Soil From this Grave" and the middle of "Skeletonized by Demon". Every single note feels like it belongs and not a single thing is out of place.

The performances on this album are extremely tight and everything still comes through clearly even though the production is pretty raw. Guitars are extremely thin and cold, anchored by the bass guitar while the drums pound away with really fast skank beats and d-beats to keep the pace. Vocals are a little bit muffled and the performance of said vocals reminds me of Darkthrone in a weird way. But then again, the music reminds me of Darkthrone as well, so it's not surprising that even the vocals on this demo sound like Darkthrone.

An extremely tight performance coupled with great riffs, this demo is nearly perfect in every way. It would be perfect if Arnaut Pavle releases something new. Only time will tell if Arnaut Pavle decides to grace the world with another release.

Primitive old school metal with punk & grime layer - 95%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, August 13th, 2014

I dunno what this mysterious band from somewhere in the frozen ice realms of Finland has to do to gain a review here. This cassette demo is a world-destroying class act of sheer raw aggression and fire. The band is aptly named after an 18th-century Serbian name who supposedly became a vampire after his death for the singing is blood-curdlingly raw and grimy with fangs eager to seize some sacrificial virgin's throat. The music is fast rollicking old school black metal with layers of punk and grime slathered all over it. With such fired-up energetic work like this, who cares that the songs aren't distinct from one another and originality is all but forgotten? You've heard this stuff before but maybe never with such filth and scabby dirt all over, and played in an easy slapdash way with a rock'n'roll groove.

Seven songs are crammed into a space of just over 18 minutes and with the exception of one song, none go over the 3-minute mark. It's probably better to forget about actual songs and just let this music zip through your ears. I guarantee that after 18 minutes, all the yellow waxy stuffing that's collected over an entire life-time will be out on one shoulder and your head will feel amazingly light and clear. The guys (?) are out of the starting gates and galloping away with bristling tinny guitar riffs and melodies, biscuit-tin drumming and those death-rattle vocals. Riffs and rhythms are all mixed up and change rapidly, the pace slips all over the shop and lead guitar solos break out without warning and trill at shockingly high pitch. No sooner does one song slow down and end than the next picks you up by the scruff of your neck and flings you down the proverbial deep end of whatever abyss in Hell where these guys hang out.

"Eat the Soil from this Grave" is an early highlight featuring a near-clean heroic vocal that recalls some of the more bombastic Reverend Bizarre stuff. The song has a great rhythm and pace that have a demonic life of their own, and a lead guitar break goes down a manic path all its own. There's a bit of triumphant thumping rhythm near the end of the song. Track titles like "Massgraves Call" and "Skeletonized by Demon" suggest a pretty unhealthy obsession with the activities of the undead but as long as the musicians are enjoying themselves - and they really sound as if they do - there's no need to fear that they'll be visiting you soon for a bite and a drop while the music has everyone grooving away.

Songs get more intense as the tape continues and there may be some over-acting in parts. The last track starts with a cheesy acid organ melody which then switches to something very like bizarre beach-party dance music ... if vampires and werewolves had beach parties at midnight. A bit of bleak atmosphere makes an appearance and the song mixes up different speeds, rhythms and melodies.

The one thing that perhaps stops this self-titled release from a perfect score is the drumming which needs to be stronger and deeper for this frantic grime-laden rocking black metal. In parts of the demo there is a psychedelic acid feel and the rock'n'roll rhythms encourage this association with the music. In spite of the short length, there's plenty to enjoy and more variety of riffs, melodies and rhythms than you'd find on entire albums three times as long as this recording.