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Arcana Coelestia : Ubi Secreta Colunt

In Italy, the earth must be saturated with vast reservoirs of misanthropy and venom. How else does one explain the vile output perpetrated by the Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation? From the dark mother comes Arcana Coelestia, a seething hybrid of Black Metal and Funeral Doom. Within 'Ubi Secreta Colunt', the band's initial offering, one will discover an intense aural ritual designed to lull the listener into the deepest reaches of melancholy.

Musically, Arcana Coelestia are quite reminscent of labelmates Urna. Considering both bands have common members, this is somewhat to be expected. There is, however, a fundamental difference between these two distinct entities; namely the pronounced use of discernable melody present in the former.

Rather than rely on the time-honored tradition of applying a generous layer of reverb to effectively darken the proceedings, Arcana Coelestia use just enough for a liberal coating of polish. Instrumental clarity reigns supreme on 'Ubi Secreta Colunt', and truly makes for a more visceral listening experience.

Interestingly, 'Ubi Secreta Colunt' is a concept album, based upon a dramatic narrative of August Strindberg, a Swedish writer. Strindberg authored "Inferno", a tome that plagued its creator with an existential curse and deepened his severence with humanity, ultimately leading him into madness. Fittingly, 'Ubi Secreta Colunt' presents itself as a beautiful disaster, an outpouring of chaos lovingly fashioned to mirror the gorgeous hell of its inspiration.

There is a signifigant spattering of gothic influence on 'Ubi Secreta Colunt'. The use of a sweeping synthesque modulation is everpresent, a fluidic touch that harkens back to those grand years of excess we lovingly refer to as the Eighties. Almost ethereal in its presentation, it conjures the likes of Bauhaus and Brotherhood Of Pagans.

The fantastic deployment of cohesive clean vocals deepen further the previously mentioned ambiance. Whispers, crooning, and a bit of bel canto harmonization dart periodically throughout the recording. This beauty is of course purposely haunted by ghoulish wailing, growls, and raspy shrieks that comprise the remainder of 'Ubi Secreta Colunt''s vocal output.

Behind every proverbial flower lies a blast beat in wait, eager to catch the unprepared listener off their guard. Insidious Black Metal freely copulates with Doom, erupting into an amalgamation of blackened sludge before dissipating into beauty yet again, playing upon the concept of insanity and hopelessness experienced by Strindberg. A point of mention are the drums, which are perfectly perceptible throughout the chaos and really provide a driving pulse, if a corpse could have such a thing.

Fans of both Funeral Doom and Black Metal will both find an abundance of material to sate their most gloomy desires here. Due to the album's decidely gothically tinged temperament, fans of Death/Doom or more romantic metal may also find something of interest. If Arcana Coelestia continues making albums of this caliber, 'Ubi Secreta Colunt' may in time be considered a classic.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Cult Of Solitude
2. Arcane Knowledge Revealed Pt. I
3. Arcane Knowledge Revealed Pt. II
4. Enigma Epitaph

Duration : Approx. 30 minutes

Visit the Arcana Coelestia bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-2007 by Timothy Coleman
Aesthetic Death
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