My last encounter with Arroganz was their previous 2014 album Tod & Teufel, and now they have returned with a new slab of dark music, but one that has seen the band undergo a blackened metamorphosis of sorts.
The songs are grim and foreboding, fostering a bleak macabre atmosphere while still managing to employ the majority of death metal’s brutal fury.
There’s a black metal side to this band that was certainly present on Tod & Teufel, but which on Primitiv seems to have been ramped up somewhat. This manifests in the more atmospheric components of the music, as well as in parts of the vocal delivery where the deep growls give way to something altogether more tortured and tormented.
Another side effect of the above is the generally longer lengths of the tracks, with four out of the six offerings here hovering around the seven and a half to eight and a half minute marks. This gives the band more than enough room to flesh out their blackened sound and create the kind of creepy, sinister moods that they seem to enjoy so much.
In a way the opening track Pilgrim is a case study for the transformation of the band; it starts off as brutal death metal and as the song progresses brings in more and more black metal elements until the final section of the song wouldn’t be out of place if it was found in an atmospheric black metal album somewhere. And all of this in less than five minutes. Once Pilgrim establishes their modus operandi, the rest of the album then feels free to do what it wants.
Arroganz may have been death metal with some black metal influences in the past, but now they’ve evolved into more of a black/death hybrid, taking whatever elements they need from both styles to create their darkened music. It works a treat that’s for sure, and Primitiv is actually quite a sophisticated collection of blackened extreme metal.
Don’t believe the album title – there’s a lot meaty content here to get your teeth into. I have to say that I think Arroganz now sound better than ever in their latest incarnation. In allowing black metal to seep into and corrupt their powerful death metal base, they have created an album of depth and substance.