Review by Jack on November 3, 2001.
Suidakra was a band I had never heard of until the other day, when I was recommended them by an affiliate in metal. Hmmm. My first impressions, were obviously what I thought of the band name; and title of album/songs. Suidakra is a funny name and to a non-native speaker of German, and having dealt extensively in Asia for much of my life, the name Suidakra reeks of Japanese feudalism. “The Arcanum” is the title of their latest effort and has nothing to with Japan, and even Asia.
“The Arcanum” is pure symphonic black metal. Not your Darkthrone or Burzum, but more in the vein of older Dimmu Borgir or Old Man’s Child but possessing a bit extra than the two aforementioned outfits. Clean vocals and evil black snarls adorn “The Arcanum” and chop and change without requiring much adaptation. Vocals range from their unique vocal style through most of their songs; to a Hansi type vocal (Blind Guardian) on the ballad: ‘Rise of Taliesin’ and then to an almost carbon copy of Pasi’s vocal style (Amorphis) on ‘The One Piece Puzzle’.
The general atmosphere of Suidakra’s “The Arcanum” is one of medieval-ness and murkiness, with quaint floral guitar riffs and run of the mill drumming. The murky atmosphere unfortunately translates over to the production a little bit, not a huge amount... but it is noticeable enough to drown out some of the clean vocals in places which I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but certainly detracts from the “The Arcanum” listening experience.
Those little niggling points aside “The Arcanum” is a little beauty of an album, not really trying to outdo other bands in the same flavor, but containing enough diversity to impress this reviewer.
Bottom Line: Nothing out of the immediate ordinary, but the folks that bring you “The Arcanum” are extremely diverse musicians that carry a touch of class and make Suidakra an interesting and rewarding purchase.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10