Poema Arcanvs - _Transient Chronicles_
(BadMoodMan Music, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (9 out of 10)
_Transient Chronicles_ is Chilean band Poema Arcanvs' fifth release, an improved and extended version of the album, having been originally released in 2012 by a different label.

To be perfectly honest, although the album exhibits many similarities to other musical entities in the realm of heavy music, something quite like that album I have never encountered, and the more spins it makes in my stereo system, the more unique and captivating it becomes -- an almost perfect metal album, if there ever was one.

The unique brand of doom metal Poema Arcanvs so impressively display is progressive in nature due to the surprising turns in the musical plot, well written and well played; it flirts with classic (epic, traditional) doom, with gothic and death metal, all encapsulated in a tight product of perfect songs delivered with the perfect atmosphere and singular, and quite complex at that, sonic structures, which make the listener quite baffled with the unfamiliar sounds at the very first time.

Led by a powerful bass guitar, some death metal tremolos and an excellent chameleon-like vocalist, the music sounds almost awkward in the beginning, pushing lazily forward with progressive / avantgarde non-linear rhythms, while the vocalist changes radically and rapidly from grunts to deep baritone chants to soaring, high-pitched clear epic singing, to sort of dispassionate, lethargic yet edgy vocals a la Mindrot's Adrian Leroux.

The metallic complexity is infused with some majestic and cleverly used keyboards that do not diminish anything from the music's power, but add an undeniable certain charm and ethereal characteristic, exactly in the right places and in perfect timing.

The bass-heavy parts insinuate metalcore's and hardcore's aesthetics, yet while the aforementioned is devoid of atmospheric qualities, the band here mask that quality well and harness these low frequencies as the album's center of balance, around which the finer, less crude elements revolve.

Eclectic and somber, the erratic change of styles even in the very same track can be confounding; ferocious doom/death co-exists with epic and traditional metal moments, only to transfigure a heartbeat later into a folk-oriented ballad and that, in turn, suddenly becomes a gothic lament that's fading and transpiring into a romantic clear sung, soft melancholic piece. Confused? So was I, but then I listened and I listened some more, and to my surprise I couldn't find any weakness, neither in the wonderful tunes, nor in the hybridization of styles and aesthetics, for they all are done by masterful hands and super creative minds, for your maximum pleasure.

So if you want to hear a unique recording that is the imaginary meeting place of Type O Negative, Mindrot and Anathema (both older as well as _My Silent Enigma_ era), bearing a singular South American interpretation, take _Transient Chronicles_ for a ride; it might be the ride of your life.

This album is wholeheartedly recommended, being one of the best and most intriguing doom metal releases of recent years.

Contact: http://poemaarcanus.bandcamp.com/

(article published 2/3/2014)


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