Released 2002 on Drakkar Productions.
Von Demonicus - vocals
Pogrom - guitar
Holocausto - guitar
Kommando - bass
Alienchrist - drums
A warning: the word "riff" will be used excessively in the coming paragraphs.
Arghoslent are a band from Virginia (like the NSBM scene primogenitors, Grand Belial's Key), and they hold somewhat racist views (like Grand Belial's Key). I'll just get that out of the way straight away, so that anyone bothered by their conscience for listening to racist bands, for whatever reason, can move along.
Actually, once you move on past those two apparent similarities, there isn't really much that GBK and Arghoslent have in common, aside from the quality of their music. Grand Belial's Key make black metal (riffy black metal, admittedly, but black metal nonetheless), Arghoslent make melodic death, for example. Even in terms of their views, they differ - GBK take a more direct, anti-Christianty and NS approach to their lyrics, whereas Arghoslent focus mainly on the colonial times and the slave trade, with lyrics biased against the slaves and Jews, but not specifically written against them. The beliefs held by the band's members are difficult to explain (or understand), but [url=http://www.tartareandesire.com/interviews/arghoslent.html]this[/url] and [url=http://basementbar.com/DefaultN1.asp"GoTo=InterviewN1.asp"ID=225]this[/url] should help (they're interviews, one of which explains the band's name as well). All in all, I think they've gotten a bad press. They're not liberal, and they're not sympathetic to much, but they're not simply hate-filled racists; rather "racially aware".
Anyway, the music. Put simply, it's fantastic. Straight from the opening seconds of the opening song, you know what you're in for; Flogging the Cargo
starts off with a great, fast-paced riff, which is almost immediately shot through with high-pitched NWOBM-style soloing. Von Demonicus' vocals come barking in, harsh and commanding, but decipherable. He's adept at matching and following whatever's going on in the song in such a way that nothing ever drags - many times I've found myself in the closing moments of Hereditary Taint
without time seeming to have passed at all.
The main strength of the album, though, is the guitars, and the riffs and solos they produce, so if you're a fan of heavy guitar music at all, this is worth checking out. The production is good, but not overly slick, so the album retains enough rawness to be impressive. The musicianship is not at a virtuoso level by any means, but is still far beyond competent, and incredibly pleasing. The song writing is excellent, and there's never a sense of melody lacking, though it's not Gothenburg-style melodic death (which has a sound much closer to thrash, in my experience), but just old-school death metal with more melody than usual. Comparisons can also be drawn to heavy metal/NWOBHM, which can only be a good thing. Every riff a keeper, every song memorable.
For those worried by the description of it as death metal, I can assure you that the vocals are not incredibly harsh. They're nothing amazing, but they're well-done and fit the music. They remind me of a slightly harsher Atheist vocal style, or maybe Morbid Angel, in that the words are harsh and barked/growled convincingly, but not indecipherable, and after a few listens a lot of the lyrics can be made out. Also, blast beats are relatively rare.
All in all, 4.5/5. I know I'm not the most experienced listener, but this is the best melodic death metal album I know, and a contender for Album of the Year in 2002.
There are two tracks I really can't separate - The Purging Fires of War
and Incorrigible Bigotry
itself. The former is probably my favourite song on the album, having the best lyrics on the album as well as everything else. It also has the advantage of having the best single riff on the album (an achievement in itself); the one which comes in at 2:43 is a strong contender for best/most epic riff ever. The title track, on the other hand, is a massive eight-minute instrumental, and the sheer amount of (riffing" riffage") is just awesome to behold. Enough riffs to drown a small elephant, if you will. So take your pick.
[url=http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/arghoslent/incorrigiblebigotry.html]Lyrics (from darklyrics.com)[/url]