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Arjen – Lice čovjeka koji je rekao Ne

arjen – lice čovjeka koji je rekao ne


The Black Metal movement originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina called the Black Plague Circle largely owes its existence to the two prolific members O. and H.P. Together, they started the scene in shared acts such as Cave Ritual/Void Prayer, Niteris and Nigrum Ignis Circuli, but they have also had several side projects at the same time. For instance, O. is also the main member behind Obskuritatem and Sulphuric Night while Arjen is the brainchild of H.P. in which he handles all instruments and vocals. Thus far, a demo, two EPs, a split and two full-length albums have been released under the banner of Arjen, and in 2022, the third and most recent album ‘Lice čovjeka koji je rekao Ne’ was digitally released.

H.P. has done well to keep each of his bands sounding quite distinctly from the other, and on the latest Arjen album he has taken that a small step further. The preceding album ‘Kad se slika iskrivi dovoljno’ from 2018 was a great exercise of ritualistic and dissonant Black Metal that musically felt somewhere between the current Polish and Norwegian scenes. On ‘Lice čovjeka koji je rekao Ne’ that framework remains intact, shifting a little bit more towards the Polish sound, but the major difference is the even stronger emphasis on riffs and especially solos. While on the preceding album and the 2020 EP ‘Nikada Nije Kasno da Propadneš’ an occasional solo popped up, right off the bat the new album starts blazing with a solo in ‘Prologomena’ and that is far from the only solo appearing in the five tracks. Besides that, the riffs are more elaborate and adventurous, with a more prominent and creative bass contribution to go with that. On top of that, the drum sound is much more organic than on the sophomore album, and with vocals that range from howls and growls to screams and vocal inhales, the meandering nature of the music is matched both in intensity and diversity.

Extensive solos and raw and atonal Black Metal might sound like a bit of a mismatch, but that certainly isn’t the case on this album. On the contrary, the record contains intense and entrancing Black Metal at its very core yet comes adorned with some pretty impressive leads as a perfect complement. It’s not exactly Malmsteen meets Black Metal, but the juxtaposition of beautiful melodic leads against occult and contrary strumming and atonal and dissonant intense passages works incredibly well. ‘Lice čovjeka koji je rekao Ne’ has not been physically released yet, but one can only hope this will happen in the near future as this is the most distinct and impressive Arjen release thus far.


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