Hailing from Canada today we have Artep, a symphonic Black Metal band that does one heck of a job in crafting epically crushing anthems of pure darkness and destruction. The band’s first full-length release is filled with pleasing surprises for all fans of Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal.
Signed on Bleak Art Records, the band is a great addition to their already impressive roster of bands such as: Aenaon and Sokrovenno. With no minutes to spare, Artep kicks off this release with a solid intro that sets the stage for the greatly diabolical and lush atmosphere of “The Antichrist”, the albums second track. Since this song you can hear the bands solid guitar work paired with atmospheric keyboards, making the comparisons to Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Anorexia Nerviosa, etc., an easy pick in describing the band’s bombastic and aggressive sound.
The high symphonic content of this release might put off some Black Metal purists, but for us is just what the doctor ordered. We find it very hard to find bands in North America that can achieve such an epic sound that incorporates many of the European traits of Symphonic Black Metal, the only one we can think of is Abigail Williams. This will surely make Artep one of the landmark Symphonic Black Metal acts of North America. Songs like “The Serpent Eye/Oko Hada” are a clear example of the ‘European’ sound of this band.
Besides lush keyboard atmospheres, we also find intricate guitar melodies that make the music a true emotional rollercoaster. The band never relies on the ‘let’s tremolo-pick our way out of this album’ approach and they rather attack the listener with straight forward riffs and brutal blast-beats while maintaining some of the ‘traditional’ Black Metal elements. In our opinion this is what makes the band standout since they don’t sound 100% formulaic and tired. Yes, this style is played by other bands, but Artep excels in making this style their own and not just ripping everybody else.
Production wise, “They Will Be Done On Earth As Is Done In Hell” features a very rough sound that adds to the brutality, but sometimes, particularly the drums, sound a bit too massive almost hitting Grindcore/Brutal Death Metal levels. However, in general the keyboards are very well mixed and the volume of the guitars is pretty well balanced. The vocals sometimes feel too distorted and at points shitty, but in general they are solid enough for such a release.
If you are a symphonic Black Metal fan and you are looking for an album to spend your time listening to before Dimmu Borgir releases their long awaited new album in September. Most songs in this release are pretty solid, so we feel that there is no need to praise them individually, and we’ll just let the listener be blown away by Artep.
|Album: Thy Will Be Done On Earth As Is Done In Hell
|Label: Bleak Art Records
Release: May 22nd, 2010
|Genre: Symphonic Black Metal