Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Narbeleth > Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana > Reviews
Narbeleth - Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana

Narbeleth - Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana - 93%

Edmund Sackbauer, August 23rd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Folter Records (Digipak)

Narbeleth are a band I hold in high regard as all of their albums have so far been at least solid. They showed progress with each new record and so it should not come as surprise that their newest and fifth full length “Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana” might be their best to date. In case you are not familiar Narbeleth is mainly the project of Dakkar, a very talented black metal musician from Cuba who now lives in Spain. It seems that drummer Vindok is now considered a permanent member of Narbeleth and while probably Dakkar is still the main creative force his contribution certainly helps the material to be found on this album to rise above most stuff being produced within the genre these days.

One thing Dakkar never really cared about was reinventing the wheel or pushing the boundaries of the genre. Despite having his origins in such a warm and sunny place like Cuba he has a great feeling for cold riffs and frost-bitten harmonies and shows the world how to create some stunning second wave inspired tracks of the highest order. Each of the songs blazes with devouring flames while offering both relentless drumming and furious tremolo runs as well as breathtaking lead harmonies. The record’s overall structure and flow feels mostly similar to the previous one, but in places I felt something like easing into more melancholic, emotional waters. On the other side there often is kind of feverish desolation in the sound, erupting in an effusion of hammering drums and soaring, trilling guitars, combining bleakness with a sense of majestic beauty.

The average track length has become just a tad longer, leaving more room for the build-ups and transitions. One of my favorites has to be the nearly seven minutes long epic “Hear the Pale Moon Speak the Arcane Secrets” which offers everything from slower and sorrowful passages over mid-tempo grooves to speedier sections. Dakkar has woven some perfectly placed acoustic guitar melodies into the song, showing that while being a traditionalist he is not afraid to think a bit outside of the box and add his own creative ideas to the overall mix. The sacrilegious onslaught presented on this offering has been polished with the tasteful depth and maturity that’s grown exponentially as he has progressed further along his way.

Alongside even greater command over his compositional abilities the production has been improved and the mix refined. The sound is very dynamic and clear without losing anything from its primal fury. The vocals, as always, are blisteringly intense, helping to drive the tracks forward even more. One of the album’s true strengths is that Narbeleth continually introduce new variations into their songs, while maintaining a stylistic red thread that’s unmistakable. Once again released by Folter Records “Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana” is an album that has visceral, carnal appeal yet is also mesmerizing. For fans of traditional black metal this album is mandatory.