I always enjoy catching up with new Narbeleth material. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, also make sure you check out 2014’s A Hatred Manifesto, 2015’s Through Blackness and Remote Places, and 2017’s Indomitvs.
So, what we have here is another slice of Scandinavian second wave worship, and as we’ve come to expect from Narbeleth, it’s good stuff. Across 42 minutes Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana delivers cold atmosphere, frosted riffs, and venomous screams. In other words, it’s exactly what you would want from the style.
The music is played with obvious passion and fervour. The band members clearly know the style inside out, and each song has been shaped into something dark and merciless. As is traditional, the eighth and final song is a cover, this time by Nettlecarrier.
Alongside the aggressive speed there seems to be a greater emphasis on atmosphere on this album, and the overall approach seems to be a bit more polished and sophisticated – think (old) Enslaved, rather than (old) Darkthrone. All of which helps to give Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana a more refined air.
Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana is another strong album from Narbeleth. I think it is likely to end up being their best so far; certainly some of the melodies here are. The band’s atavistic, yet considered, approach to songwriting and delivery makes listening to Svmma Cvm Nox Arcana a pleasure.
If you’re a fan of underground black metal, then this is a must listen.
Very highly recommended.