Review by Jack on August 8, 2002.
There really are countless bands new metal bands out there awaiting discovery, from all corners of the globe, from all walks of life, and all catering for different tastes. This is what makes the metal world so enjoyable to be a part of. In the current metal scene there are forever bands popping up from different areas of the world, that one would least expect, not your typical bands from the typical Swedish/Finnish/German scenes, but instead in a little metal country called Chile. Poema Arcanvs is a little band from Chile, and with their “Iconoclast” they are blowing the current aforementioned scenes completely off their perch.
I crap you not ladies and gents, Poema Arcanvs are a truly extraordinary band that to this current point in time have received absolutely dick all coverage (thankfully, Norwegian label Aftermath Music has done the world a favor by digging up these little beauties). Labeled as ‘progressive dark arcane metal’ by Aftermath Music, “Iconoclast” is an album that goth junkies that dig the stuff by Tristania, Sirenia, Battle Lore and To Elysium would get off on. However, it doesn’t fall under a gothic metal label. Poema Arcanvs possesses a more organic talent to writing their songs and composing the tracks for “Iconoclast”. It seems to all fall into place more naturally for Poema Arcanvs, than what has happened for some of the earlier specified bands. Ripe with groovy keyboards, smart guitar riffs and a vocal presentation which features a tortured, wispy clean voice and a simple, yet elegant black rasp by vocalist Claudio Carrasco.
Being only their sophomore album, what is completely brain-freezing is that “Iconoclast” contains no-filler material whatsoever. Whether it be a nice interlude piece such as ‘Chaman’ or one of the longer seven-minute killer tracks such as ‘Distances’, there is nothing that you want to skip forward even the slightest on the fast-forward button on your stereo. I am going to make a big call here... If you like the following bands, I would say you would pretty much enjoy Poema Arcanvs: Katatonia, Opeth, Amorphis, Moonspell, Tiamat, Samael, My Dying Bride and Borknagar. I am sure folks that like these bands could at least find some ordinary sections of music on each of their albums; this is the beauty of “Iconoclast”, all of it is brilliant.
Bottom Line: If I hadn’t reviewed Lux Occulta this month, this would surely be my pick for album of the month. For new listeners this is simply astronomical stuff.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9 out of 10