This is technical/progressive death metal, showing a band that have built on the strengths of 2015’s Lucid Dawn and taken them to their logical conclusion on Nemethia.
This new album is bigger, bolder, and even better than Lucid Dawn, which was a pretty damn good album itself. Arkaik have taken the best aspects of their previous work and expanded on them, refining the parts that were the best, as well as developing their classical, symphonic, and intricate sides even further.
There’s still plenty of chunky brutality and ferocious groove here though, with the tracks offering plenty of instant gratification for fans of modern death metal. As well as this though the band’s songwriting includes a great deal of added depth and nuance more than some of their peers; you might come for the style, but you stay for the substance.
These songs are involved and complex beasts, but not overly so; huge riffs, serrated melodies, and bright solos all manage to effectively balance the mix of accessibility, (relatively speaking), and complexity that Arkaik do so well.
Arkaik’s vocalist sounds like he’s on fire, although hopefully not in a literal sense. His clipped and efficient growls tear out from the sharp blast beats and punishing riffs like an angry bear god. Whatever that might entail in practice, (anyone?), the result is an energising performance.
The album sounds suitably immense, enhanced by a clear and strong production that’s modern and shiny enough to do the music justice, but not so much that the band’s blistering intensity loses its edge.
Nemethia is Arkaik’s best work so far, with the tracks being more nuanced, intricate, and complex than ever before, without sacrificing songcraft or savage appeal.