We first stumbled across an unsigned Oregon band called Arkhum about six weeks ago. We were intrigued by the striking cover art for a yet-to-be-released album and included the band in one of our occasional EYE-CATCHERS features (here). At that time, the only music we had available to us were rough mixes of two songs for the forthcoming album and an earlier 2009 track. But those three songs certainly grabbed our attention in a big way.
Much has happened to Arkhum in those six weeks. Today, the band officially releases its debut album, Anno Universum, and we can now report that they have been signed by the Vendlus Records label (home to such talented bands as Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room), which will begin distributing the album worldwide later this fall.
Arkhum was kind enough to give us an advance copy of the eight songs on Anno Universum and we’re happy to report that our earlier instincts about the band have proven to be correct: Anno Universum is stunning — one of the best debuts we’ve heard in 2010.
We got so excited about the music that we pestered Arkhum for an interview, and brothers Stephen and Kenneth Parker patiently answered our meandering questions. In the post immediately below this one, you can read that interview, which turned out to be pretty damned interesting.
In this post, we’ll try to explain why Anno Universum has made such a strong impression on us and why we think you’ll be hearing lots more about Arkhum in the months to come. (more after the jump, including a song from the new album . . .)