Arckanum, are one of the earliest Swedish Black Metal acts, formed back in the glory days of 1992. Initiated with rehearsal demos in 1993 and followed by another rehearsal demo in 1994, they built a strong foundation of four demos in two years. Since then this arcane force never stopped and in process released three full-length as, “Fran marder” (1995), “Kostogher” (1997) – arguably revered as finest Black Metal album from 1997 and “Kampen” (1998). Like an ever flowing stream, in between 1999 to 2019 they released one demo, six EP, three split, one compilation and five more full- lengths – a sheer fascinating discography considering Arckanum is a sole endeavor by Shamaatae.
Now, this re-release of “Trulen” demo originally from 1994 comes with 3 bonus tracks, now released in-cooperation with Dybbuk Productions (Cassette) after previously being released in 12 inch Vinyl under Blut & Eisen Productions (2006). The entire record from tracks 1 to 15 (lengthening more than 50 minute), all possess their own individual vibes and variations that shall describe the inner material, which is raw occult Black Metal mixed with sounds from nature and keyboard/medieval synth features. Of course aided by the grim vocals and haunting chants that are expected from Shamaatae, totally contributes to the atmosphere, which abstractly created a feeling of footing on top of a mountain, gazing over the never-ending forest and lakes, while the creatures of the woods are reciting tributes to the nature. Others may perceive differently, but initially anybody will characterize the intro, “Pan’s lughn” a clam before the storm. Onwards with “Hvita pa Tronan Min”, that storms though the gates with grief-stricken screams of Shamaatae’s that are so distinctive and powerful. Here, Shamaatae utilizes his echoed vocal to great effect which intensifies the impression of a calling across the nothingness of space and time. Equally on “Gava fran Trulen”, “Yvir min Diupe Marder”, “Myrkr ynnist” and “Svinna”, and rest part of the record, the musical flow progresses from nature inspired interludes that elevates the sense of being enveloped in a dark forest and then bursts into a brutal and fierce explosion. The guitars and other instruments are characteristically thin and trebly where Shamaatae frequently uses a sort of windswept faster riffs combined with a mid-tempo riff sections. This approach certainly adds to the atmosphere as if the whole record is a calling to the listener from an ancient and mystical past. In the end, everything just comes together where the tales and music go together wonderfully with rhythmic whips of melodious riffs and ominous drumming which might stuck most while walking in the forest and coming across a being looking like the picture on the cover.
Surely, this is still just a demo, so expecting top-notch production and recording is a no brainer but it’s definitely far balanced than the early record. The artwork of Pan on the cover pretty much symbolizes every aspect of “Trulen”- as some sort of reverence to the mystical aspects of nature and the surroundings. Undoubtedly, Shamaatae is a true artist who knows exactly how to achieve a sonic communion within the confines of those elements. With lyrical themes exploring Chaos-Gnostic Ideology, Anti-Cosmic Satanism, Pan – Shamaatae, delve deep into his visions naturally. Those not aware, he is also the author of several books on Chaos-Gnosticism, Anti-Cosmic Satanism, Old Norse religion, etc. under the pen-names Vexior and Ekortu. His first book, called “PanParadox: Pan Towards Chaos”, was released through Ixaxaar Publishing in 2009.
It’s a grave loss that, Arckanum was split up in 2018 as Shamaatae wants to focus solely on his authorship and spiritual ventures, so in case if you’re one who’s missed all this in past 27 years, then this re-release can be a opening to immerse yourself in this timeless Black Metal opus which is primitive, raw and deeply rooted in foreboding realm of nature’s magic and forever enchanting Norse history. (Rocky)