Arctos is the voice of the mountains, the call of the rising wild. Arctos’ savage brand of Northern Black Metal is captured on the band’s full-length debut album, Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands.
Inspired by the Godless wastelands of Northern Alberta as well as the jagged monoliths of the Canadian Rockies, Arctos brings together a unique blend of sounds to craft a form of Black Metal rife with atmosphere and melody. Formed in 2014 by a group of veteran musicians, Arctos is well steeped in musical tradition.
With the 2017 release of their debut EP A Spire Silent, Arctos stepped into the light after almost three years of writing in secret. Arctos was finally unleashed upon the public and laid waste accordingly. After years of successful shows and touring across Western Canada, Arctos continue to set their sights ever higher with the release of Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands. Out on September 20th 2019 via Northern Silence Productions.
Non-traditional, Arctos’ brand of black metal delves more into the atmospheric side of things with a powerful album. One that is as dark and heavy as a purist might want it to be while also having unrivalled beauty and exceptionally strong emotive passages.
All of that is present from the moment The Ancestors’ Path begins to the the moment The Light Beyond the Sky (The Passage II) drifts away quietly. In between we get some of the strongest black metal heard this year as Arctos breathe plenty of burning fire and freezing ice when it is needed.
The gargantuan tomes bounce around the skull like a echo in a gaping cavern. As it goes on you start to wonder if that’s actually your voice or the void answering you back?
It’s far too tempting to look deeply as Arctos are the soundtrack of towering monolithic features, craggy mountains and ancient caves. Quite a bit terrifying to experience but also incredibly tempting to keep coming back too.
They do this with a whirlwind of harsh and heavy riffing, blistering percussion arrangements and vocals that cause the hair to go up on the back of the neck.
…and of course the atmospheric extra that add some much flavour to an already rich dish. At nearly 50 minutes and with 7 enormous tracks, there is plenty bang for your buck. A recommended listen.
Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands Full Track Listing:
1. The Ancestors’ Path
2. Shattered Tomb
3. Somnos Aeternus
4. The Spectre
5. Autumn’s Hearld…Interitus
6. A Realm Beyond
7. The Light Beyond the Sky (The Passage II)
Arctos - Beyond The Grasp of Mortal Hands (Northern Silence Productions)
- The Final Score - 9/109/10