REVIEW: Arcane Death Ritual, Sortilegia

Canadian Black Metal is unquestionably going from strength to strength in recent times with a string of quality releases that include this brilliant debut LP from two man band Sortilegia. This full length release is another jewel in the crown of the exceptional German label Ván Records that seem to be releasing quality Metal across all sub genres on an ostensibly monthly basis.

With heavy links to the formidable Nidrosian scene (Drummer Haereticus plays drums in Vemod) a string of live shows have bolstered their reputation, including one such show on December 6th in Brussels (review here) where I was fortunate enough to snag a copy of this album before it’s official release.

Arcane Death Ritual begins with an eerie ambient intro that builds towards the first aural assault ‘Per Atrum Ignem’ that really sets the tone for the rest of the record with a very raw and ritualistic atmosphere. Often times claustrophobic with its intensity warming around you, Koldovstvo’s spectral guitar lines pierce through, particularly on the albums slower sections which serve to give it a real sense of dark and light and an often time trance inducing feel. With most songs bordering between 7-10 minutes this debut release asks a lot of the listener, but like all things that require more of your attention the rewards are plentiful.

Arcane Death Ritual is certainly a late contender for Black Metal album of the year for 2014, and it has seemingly slipped under quite a few peoples radars despite the popularity of the bands demo & rehearsal tape releases on top of their continued live presence across the globe. Watch this space for more on Sortilegia.

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Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!