Arkhamin Kirjasto: Torches Ablaze CD


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“One of the more intriguing things to have landed in my inbox recently is Finland’s Arkhamin Kirjasto. It might be because music writers are anxious to drop a label on something and it’s damn near impossible to classify. Is it power metal? Hard rock? Or, as the band says on their Facebook page, ‘Lovecraftian Hard Rock/Death Metal’? That sorta has all the bases covered, even if Lovecraft liked classical…makes us want to get down the same way Now, Diabolical did when SATYRICON decided to surprise (and potentially alienate) their entire fanbase about six years ago. So if you don’t like big riffs and hooks, it might not be for you. Like arena rock meeting something heavier? Give it a taste and flick the Bic” – Decibel

“Here’s something interesting and definitely different for a change…a diverse-sounding record, which combines old-school death metal à la AUTOPSY, NIHILIST, and FURBOWL with some IRON MAIDEN-esque melodies, grooviness of the likes of ANGEL WITCH and early BLACK SABBATH – added even with small portions of psychedelia and progressiveness (à la VOIVOD), for good measure. So yeah, you could say we talk about a kinda mixed musical package here, which, however, seems to work pretty darn amazingly well in favor of them…definitely a breath of fresh air, pretty much reminding of those times when XYSMA recorded their second album, First & Magical, and when the Swedish FURBOWL entered the studio to record The Autumn Years in autumn 1993. A mixed soup like this does surprise its listeners every time when it’s meant to come right behind the nearest corner towards you – and that’s always something that overall is so great about music ,when that surprise factor is involved with it…The guys’ groovily rockin’ mish-mash of death metal, heavy rock, NWOBHM, and weed-reeking psychedelia, ain’t something that can be completely ignored. No, this stuff is meant to haunt and catch you eventually, like it or not” –

“During 24 years of listening to metal, I have come across good stuff, bad stuff, and weird stuff (and obviously lots in between). Arkhamin Kirjasto’s debut Torches Ablaze can definitely be filed in the last category, not because they are mixing hundreds of styles together, but rather because they are just off the wall, kind of…well, let’s just say that this has been one of the harder albums to put into words in the past few months…an odd album that has its quite unique charm and may appeal to you, if you have an open mind and are not afraid to step into uncharted territory every now and then” –

“The combination of traditional heavy metal riffing and its moderate levels of aggression with the advent of extreme metal vocals is hardly a novelty by this point. Entire subgenres have blossomed to fuse the two, ever since Scandinavian cults like MORNINGSTAR first risked the hybrid, and thus we’ve seen a lot of black/heavy or black/thrash metal over the past 10-15 years. That said, Arkhamin Kirjasto, a Finnish duo of multi-instrumentalists featuring the prolific Jussi Lehtisalo (from PHARAOH OVERLORD, KRYPT AXERIPPER, and others), tackle this approach vector with an immense level of atmosphere and variation that devours the listener into this universe of alternate nostalgia where pure metal riffing straight out of the ‘80s is dowsed in guttural manliness…The Finns are not simply satisfied with lifting and paraphrasing patterns of classic records and then snarling over them (something many, many trending bands today are guilty of); instead, they add and amplify the nostalgia through layers of drama and texture that end up sounding quite original…I’d recommend it to anyone who wanted melodic death metal with a difference, or projects like Norway’s I who possess a comparable, resonant, and epic nature” – From the Dust Returned webzine