Poema Arcanus - Stardust Solitude review




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Reviewer:
8.3

37 users:
7.84
Band: Poema Arcanus
Album: Stardust Solitude
Release date: August 2020


01. Stardust Solitude
02. Orphans
03. Haven
04. The Lighthouse Keeper
05. Straits Of Devotion
06. Pilgrim
07. Kingdom Of Ruins
08. Brave


Most likely Chile's (or South America in general) longest-standing doom metal act, Poema Arcanus returns after 7 years. Continuous delays (not even mentioning Covid-19) have put several obstacles in the band's path, but Stardust Solitude sees the band getting out of that hole as victorious.

Their progressive leanings have always been part of their style, but now said elements shine through more than ever. The keyboards and synths usually set the mood of their songs with haunting melodies and effects in the background. This time around the band ditched that part of their core sound and shattered the limits of what they could do with the guitars. I don't have any expertise with the instrument, nor have any inside info, so I can only guess the amount of pedals used here, but it's obvious that there must have been quite a few.

Far from being gimmicky, these guitar effects revitalize the band's riffs, which mercilessly pummel throughout. They create vast landscapes with thundering leads and solos around every corner. With no keyboards to back him up, Igor Leiva's mastery of his instrument is a highlight that won't go unnoticed for the listener. Consequently, more responsibility has been put into the rhythm department: The vibrant bass of Juan Díaz is perfectly clear and shakes the ground with its hellish warmth, while drummer Luis Moya further expands the significance of drums within doom metal with ever-changing and hard-hitting beats that frame the songs nicely.

One can't talk about a Poema Arcanus record without mentioning the vocals. Claudio Carrasco has always used easily recognizable deep clean vocals. To me they evoke an angst-filled sense of loss and impotence against an uncaring world. Along with his sorrowful cleans, Claudio uses very brutal and bone-shattering growls that wouldn't feel out of place in in a funeral doom metal act. This is especially true on the slow burners "Pilgrim" and closer "Brave".

The flow of the album is far from what you'd expect from a doom metal album. The complexity of the songs might alienate a few, but I urge you to let the songs take you to all these fascinating places they hide within. It's difficult for me to give proper highlights, but tracks like "Orphans" and "Straits Of Devotion" are among the most riff-tastic doom metal songs I've heard this year, with some impressive drum patterns all over the place. My personal favorite has to be "The Lighthouse Keeper" though: A true chameleon of a song, with some strong post-rock/metal vibes and a beautifully constructed progression during the second half. It shows the band coming together as a whole to create a magical sound I haven't listened from Chile ever since Mar De Grises sadly called quits. For me, this song alone is worth the price tag.

With only 3 instruments and vocals, one would think Poema Arcanus is going back to basics; it couldn't be further from the truth. Stardust Solitude marks an intriguing new chapter for a band with an ever-evolving sound.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 25.11.2020 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 58 users
25.11.2020 - 16:40
Batlord666
Great review. I've never heard of this band, what other records by them would you recommend?
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25.11.2020 - 16:46
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Batlord666 on 25.11.2020 at 16:40
Great review. I've never heard of this band, what other records by them would you recommend?

Iconoclast could be considered a "classic" in the doom metal scene in South America and well regarded by most.

Telluric Manifesto has a very experimental edge to it so if you are into more out-there metal, then you should try it.

Transient Chronicles might be their heaviest in the traditional sense of the word so it's a good point of reference for those who like more extreme doom.

Make sure to check out Mar De Grises while you are at it. Draining The Waterheart is among my absolute favorite doom metal albums.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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25.11.2020 - 16:50
Batlord666
I love Mar De Grises! Thanks, I'll give those two a listen.
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25.11.2020 - 17:43
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Female poison, great lyrics this band have consider that they comes from south america
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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25.11.2020 - 17:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Alright I guess I gotta give these guys another shot
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Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
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25.11.2020 - 18:03
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by RaduP on 25.11.2020 at 17:53
Alright I guess I gotta give these guys another shot


If The Lighthouse Keeper doesn't work for you then I give up.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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28.11.2020 - 02:51
Eosses
The best doom album of the year. Conceptual and enjoyable from start to finish. A masterpiece
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