Kekht Arakh
Pale Swordsman


5.0
classic

Review

by Grumpy CONTRIBUTOR (33 Reviews)
April 11th, 2021 | 53 replies


Release Date: 04/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The classic old-fashioned melancholic black metal in action.

Other than hailing from Ukraine, there is not much known about the sole member behind Këkht Aräkh. Covered in mystery, under the artist name of Crying Orc, the band has been active since 2018. Ever since, Këkht Aräkh’s music has been getting better with each release due to the more adventurous songwriting and by building up a truly atmospheric sound-palette. And with Pale Swordsman, things got really serious.

Grim, eerie, melancholic and romantic: each of these moods can be heard through the riffs and ambient passages of Pale Swordsman. The unique cover art by itself could set the desired mood which is deeply part of this kind of music. You can see a dark environment with a grim figure holding a sword and a rose in each hand - this can be seen as a symbol of both the album’s, and perhaps, the genre’s encoded sharp contrasts. Black metal can sound about war (think about Black Metal Ist Krieg… by Nargaroth), and also fragile beauty, and sometimes: both at the same time. The creation of this kind of synergy is quite a challenge, but the artist really did an outstanding job in generating a thick atmosphere.

By all means, it is necessary to talk about the influences from where the Crying Orc drew inspiration. It is not hard to guess that perhaps, the early Burzum albums have had a very powerful impact on this release, especially noticeable in song structures and the riffing style (see the song: “Night Descends” for example.) The black metal songs flow very easily, the riffs feel very gently interlinked, despite the usually moderate tempo. On the other hand, similar style can be observed in the black metal Ulver albums where they inserted a similar melancholic vibe into their sound, like in Bergtatt for example. Also the early Judas Iscariot albums should be mentioned here, due to the resemblances in style (especially on the vocal front). Furthermore, the album consists of some dark ambient passages where usually the grand piano steps into the spotlight (in tracks like “Intro”, “Nocturne”), conjuring the atmosphere of desolate and ghostly melancholy - which is somewhat similar to early dungeon synth act Lamentation’s work.

The cobwebby tape hiss, several layers of distorted guitars, cawing vocals, simple drumming and of course the interludes: everything in this release screams about a deep love for the old-school ways. Anyone who is really into the overall production of Burzum’s Hvis lyset tar oss (like I am), will be very pleased about the overall sound and atmosphere (despite the lack of synths involved in this album). Perhaps the album’s closer song is the only track which somehow sticks out from the general early ‘90s black metal worship, where on top of a deeply melancholic piano melody, a poem is presented by gentle clean vocals, and this leaves a somewhat gothic vibe at the album’s end.

“...Sorrow is my only feeling
Through this everlasting season
I’m going without any reason

Winds whispering their secrets
Wandering in the night, I keep them
For you, I rid myself of evil

Gathering the stars for you
I rid myself of evil”

(from “Swordsman”)

Many tried, and many failed in capturing a memorably great atmosphere so perfectly through the “tools” of black metal. But Këkht Aräkh passed the test, bringing us the sweetest embrace of melancholia in Pale Swordsman. Fiendishly raw and sharp guitar fuzz, lyrics written like some of Poe’s works, emoitonal depth: this is romantic black metal.



Recent reviews by this author
Keygen Church ░█░█░░█░█░█░Taake / Helheim Henholdsvis
A Compendium of Curiosities Heaven Feels Like Floating Around in a Golden CityPoison Ruin Poison Ruin LP
Null (USA) HiraethDeafheaven 10 Years Gone
user ratings (56)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2021


14070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

That sex appeal

Digging: ACAUSAL INTRUSION - Nulitas

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2021


5984 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'm really loving this.

Bandcamp: https://kekhtarakh.bandcamp.com/album/pale-swordsman

Digging: Impaled Nazarene - Eight Headed Serpent

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2021


14070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

Rating does not match user score: negative

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2021


5984 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

> Rating does not match user score: negative

Ooops.

parksungjoon
April 11th 2021


31019 Comments


nothing wrong with that [:

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2021


2933 Comments


sex [2]

Digging: Porter Robinson - Nurture

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2021


9116 Comments


This album is even more basic than the previous one.

That said, I'm not sure about a 5, but 3.4+ it is.

Good text.

Digging: Vision Video - Inked in Red

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2021


5984 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I didn't expect the 5.0s coming, this was just the perfect match to my niche taste. I ordered this on tape too.

And thanks Voivod!!

Bedex
April 11th 2021


2674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

man that was a fast rev





nice garas m/

BallsToTheWall
April 11th 2021


50351 Comments


This review sounds like Sputnik 2009 and I’m hyped
About it. Will jam.

Digging: Ansome - Hounds of the Harbor

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2021


24299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

this calls me from the most feral depths of my soul.



nice review garas.

Digging: Arabrot - Norwegian Gothic

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2021


24299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Enjoyed it, less than I expected, but that might be the migraine's AT field preventing the good vibes.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2021


5984 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ugh, this is definitely not a good match with migraine. :|



"If you are into raw (very raw) melancholic, classic, black metal this is gonna make you feel special."

This sentence sounded like 100% me.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2021


24299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Cause it's written based on your review my dear ;)

DDDeftoneDDD
April 12th 2021


17292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

need to check this

Digging: Castevet - Obsian

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2021


15991 Comments


"this is romantic black metal."
as "I'm in love with satan, dearly"? ;)

Nice work garas, I need to check this romantic darkness.

Digging: Grave Miasma - Abyss Of Wrathful Deities

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2021


14070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

Some staff rating flex on this one.

DadKungFu
April 12th 2021


1148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's something really endearing about embracing an aesthetic this corny and I mean that in the best way possible

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2021


5984 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This gets even better on rainy days...!

TheSpirit
April 13th 2021


27648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. This artist is fantastic. Romantic black metal indeed. Still don't know if I prefer this or the debut, but both rule. Love the straightforwardness.

Digging: Gonemage - Mystical Extraction



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy