Coffin Storm - Official Website

Arcana Rising

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

Arcana Rising
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 29th, 2024
Genre: Doom, Heavy, Thrash
1. Over Frozen Moors
2. Arcana Rising
3. Open The Gallows
4. Eighty-Five And Seven Miles
5. Ceaseless Abandon
6. Clockwork Cult

Review by Vladimir on April 4, 2024.

Helvete yeah, it's finally here! The date is March 29th, 2024, and the newfound Kolbotn project by Apollyon, Bestial Tormentor and Fenriz, titled Coffin Storm, has finally released the debut album Arcana Rising. When the first single 'Over Frozen Moors' came out, it was but a glimpse of what the three Norwegian metal veterans prepared, and this example showcases that this is going to be heading for a heavy/doom metal with slower thrash metal direction, influenced by various oldschool 80's classic metal releases in the three aforementioned subgenres. Despite there being some mixed reactions, it was still met with high expectations, with many people looking forward to its release. Was it worth the wait? Let's find out!

Coffin Storm does indeed provide a lot of wicked heavy and doom metal elements consisted of solid catchy riffing enriched with guitar melodies, with drums in a slower tempo and epic singing vocals by Fenriz that were often incorporated in Isengard and also a couple of Darkthrone songs in the later era, particularly "The Underground Resistance". Although on first-hand it may sound a bit too familiar, with there being a strong resemblance to Darkthrone's recent works with the heavy and doom-laden style since "Old Star", regardless of the fact you will manage to hear hear a lot of influences throughout the entire album, coming from bands such as Manilla Road, Pentagram, Candlemass, Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, mid-tempo elements of Celtic Frost, Metallica and Kreator, as well as musical nods to early Paradise Lost & Cathedral. Perhaps the strongest example out of the six tracks is definitely 'Open The Gallows' that really shines from the very start with the melodic guitar work on the beginning, which later jumps into very thick slower heavy/thrash metal with headbanging action. Another example that shines with wickedness and evil in the music is 'Ceaseless Abandon', which stands out as one of the heavier tunes on the album.

There is a strong emphasis on simplicity in the band's songwriting, but still quite dynamic with all the tempo changes and transitions between each section. All of the songs stand out in their own way thanks to the incredibly heavy riffing that is without a doubt the biggest highlight of this album. The only smaller issue that I had with the album are the vocals by Fenriz, who for the most part sounds decent and acceptable, but also a bit goofy and silly at times. The issue isn't really the style which he incorporates, because his signature epic singing has proven effective multiple times throughout Isengard and a few Darkthrone tunes, but the real problem here is that the vocal execution feels a bit off and unbalanced, where they kind of lack a certain edge to really fit with the heavy riffs. You can sort of tell that he was going for a much more Mark "The Shark" Shelton (Manilla Road) oriented vocal style, fused with a bit of Messiah Marcolin and Johan Längquist, but regardless of the fact I still think it could have been done a little bit better. If you manage to overlook this, you are certainly going to be enjoying the solid instrumental work because it sure does shine throughout the entire album. Another highlight of the album which also deserves a mention is the brilliant cover art by polish artist Maciej Kamuda, who gave us such a mystical and mesmerizing artwork that matches the nature of Coffin Storm's music, and it is very much oldschool in terms of the overall concept. Those who have been familiar with the latest Darkthrone stuff will notice that the production of Arcana Rising is also similar in style, thanks to the mastering by Jack Control who once again nails the game with that dry organic sound.

Overall, Arcana Rising is very enjoyable and very pleasant to listen to from start to finish, presenting itself as a nice and charming love letter to the 80's classics. The three Norwegian metal titans have proven successful in their mission to unite their forces and create one powerful spell that will bewitch the excited fans, and I am very glad to see Coffin Storm proving itself to be a one nasty son of a bitch. Funnily enough, alongside Arcana Rising, we will also be getting a new Darkthrone album this year, which at this point is less than a month away from its release. Hopefully, "It Beckons Us All....." will be just as great to sit side by side with Arcana Rising as Norway's most anticipated metal albums worth the wait.

Rating: 8.7 out of 10