Review Summary: With a lot of old and a lot of new, The Arcane Order again refine their already unique sound.The Arcane Order
are a criminally overlooked Danish band who only needed two albums to establish one of the most varied and unique, yet cohesive sounds on the European metal scene. A blend of melodic death metal and thrash, with some rare but welcome hardcore punk influences might not sound like something never done before, but coupled with the band's amazingly fitting synth and symphonic soundscapes, unique sense of melody and unsettling, yet indeterminate atmosphere and you end up with a sound as unique as they get. Bands like Divinity
or Altered Aeon
could probably be the closest approximates that come to mind, with The Arcane Order being something in between in terms of sound, which of course doesn't begin to do their sound justice.
Cult of None
is their first album since 2008's excellent In the Wake of Collisions
, the album that firmly established the sound described above, and it builds upon the foundations laid down by its predecessor. This time around, the outing is a bit calmer, less chaotic, but also more focused, which is to be expected considering the 7 year wait. The guys from The Arcane Order had all the time in the world to put into the songwriting, and it definitely feels like they made that time count. Cult of None
is a veritable fiesta of super-technical yet groovy riffs laid over extremely heavy drum patterns executed with pinpoint precision, yet made fleeting and dreamlike by the underlying synths without losing any of the bite.
Although the album does carry over the signature sound established on In the Wake of Collisions
, the band put in great effort not to make it sound repetitive. The old spirit is there, but the ideas are all new, often taking the familiarized listener by surprise. The writing and exectution are so good that the album never gets boring, even despite being relatively homogenous in terms of style compared to some more adventurous bands. It's one of those examples where a focused approach wins the day.
All in all, it turns out that Cult of None
ends up being just as good as its predecessor while remaining different enough, and sets a good direction to push the band's sound in. A highly recommended listen for all fans of thrash/melodeath hybrid bands, as well as everything progressive, technical and industrial. Don't overlook this one!