Last month we were fortunate to bring you premieres of two songs from an album we are very excited about, and now we bring you a full stream of the entire album. Entitled Lunaris, it’s the sixth full-length by the Polish black metal band Arkona, and Debemur Morti Productions is releasing it today.
In writing about one of our previous song premieres, I summed up the music as mystical, majestic, and marauding, and those adjectives hold true for the album as a whole.
Spectral waves of atmospheric synthesizer and guitar melody wash over and through you in these songs, and they generate a powerful emotional resonance that ranges from heart-stricken and melancholy, to grim and brooding, to sweepingly majestic and powerful, though in all its manifestations the music is dark and dramatic. Above all, whether depressive or defiant, the melodies are spellbinding.
Balanced against that, the songs are also explosive — fierce and fiery, both heart-rending and heart-swelling to the verge of delirium. Arkona‘s drummer turns in a masterful, dynamic performance throughout the album, and when the songs surge with rampaging energy, he delivers militaristic assaults that resemble heavy-caliber weaponry firing at machine-like speed, matched by the rapid beat of the bass. (And while on the subject of the bassist, there’s a pulsing bass line in “Zemia” that really gets its sharp hooks under the skin.)
The savage countenance of Arkona‘s changing expressions is also fully fleshed out by the vocals, which are ferocious — dripping poison, spitting shards of broken glass, snarling tyrannical proclamations, and becoming explosively wrenching as the music reaches its summits of emotional extremity.
But the mystical and majestic aspects of the music are never far away, regardless of which song is pulling you into its immersive embrace. In addition to the sweeping waves of ambient melody, the songs are accented by such things as choral voices, dramatic cathedral organ chords, darting symphonic strings, and dramatic horns.
If you give yourself over to the entire album, it has the capacity to carry you far away from whatever you were thinking or feeling before you started. The dictionary tells me that the word “ensorcell” means “to bewitch, enchant, and fascinate,” and that’s another adjective that belongs in a summing up of the album — though that’s not intended to detract from the music’s sinister ferocity, which is also evident in full force.
One final compliment: At the very end, in the closing minutes of the final song “Lunaris”, it moves from blinding, heart-swelling emotional intensity to a final, beautiful expression of melancholy. It’s a perfect conclusion to a thoroughly captivating 48-minute trip.
Lunaris is available through the Debemur Morti webshop on digipack CD and gatefold 12″ LP:
The album is also available on Bandcamp here :
Arkona on Facebook: