Arkheron Thodol – Rituals of the Sovereign Heart (Review)

Arkheron Thodol - Rituals of the Sovereign HeartThis is the second album from Arkheron Thodol, a black metal band from the US.

The follow up to 2017’s Thaw, Rituals of the Sovereign Heart contains 51 minutes of atmospheric black metal for connoisseurs of the style to get their teeth into. This new release finds the band developing their style further, resulting in a more professional and polished album that nonetheless loses nothing in depth or underground appeal.

Arkheron Thodol create vivid pictures with music, using guitars as brushes to paint rich tapestries for each of the atmosphere-heavy tracks. Weaving compellingly textured soundscapes across four emotive songs, this album is a blackened experiential journey. Arkheron Thodol offer up everything from light introspection to raging aggression, all in the name of atmosphere and immersive emotion. It works wonderfully.

The band make use of highly engaging and sometimes quite resplendent melodies to draw the listener’s attentions. This is then kept through compositional skill, by songs that are laced with extra sounds and ideas; an emotive piano here, a subtle keyboard there, a striking moment of guitarwork here, etc. Or, maybe, not just a part, but a whole atmospheric section to overload the senses. I really like the attention to detail on this release. I also love the near-static, low in the mix screams too; my favourite for this sort of music.

Rituals of the Sovereign Heart is a very strong album, and it’s great to see the band progress their sound further and produce their best work to date. This is highly recommended for any fan of atmospheric black metal.

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