Album Review: Cofffin Storm – Arcana Rising (Peaceville Records)

Norway’s Coffin Storm is the new band consisting of a trio of Kolbotn veterans, with the line-up of Apollyon (Aura Noir/Lamented Souls) and Bestial Tormentor (Infernö/Lamented Souls) completed by Darkthrone’s Fenriz on vocal duties. Mixing classic heavy metal, with slow thrash and doom, their arrival is marked by the release of their debut album, ‘Arcana Rising’. Out on March 29th, 2024, via Peaceville.

Photo Credit: Christian KICKAN Holm

Drop your expectations for something more akin what the trio normally do. Coffin Storm is different, even if it is still rooted in evil. It just so happens to be the garish wickedness of a traditional heavy metal sound with elements of thrash and doom thrown in. Which, on paper, doesn’t sound too bad at all.

However, this album is difficult to love and features so many off-putting elements. Not only does it sound ripped from a couple of decades ago, but it sounds quite subpar to what was coming out in that era. While the initial surprise of what this album holds does pass, the puzzling nature of its overall existence doesn’t. It’s not an unmemorable release, but that’s not necessarily for good reasons.

From the very start, with Over Frozen Moors, it leaves you baffled and unsure. It’s got all the recognisable elements of metal, but when put together, and given a traditional doom coating, it just sounds odd. It does become more enjoyable on multiple listens, the mind adjusting to the repetitive rhythm and the super-clean vocals, but it still never feels like a must listen.

When they really lean into the doom, it’s often when this album is at its strongest and that comes with the title track. This has such strong Candlemass vibes, and it hits. The lethargic riffs, the peaks and valleys of the vocals, the thumping drumbeats, and plenty of sinister atmosphere makes this one of the best tracks on the album.

If that wasn’t epic sounding enough, there’s Open the Gallows, a track that passes the ten-minute mark. It’s also one of the more thrashier efforts that, unfortunately, starts to drag and drag. It’s not a bad track by any stretch of the imagination, but it is wholly unremarkable.

The eccentricities of their doomier side is back again with Eight-Five and Seven Miles. Coffin Storm do seem to be at their height of their powers when landing on this side of the metal spectrum. There are some really great riffs in this track and the drums are particularly hard.

Then along comes Ceaseless Abandon to make things feel distinctly average again. The metallic tone of this track, so very 80s, just feels so lifeless. Happily, it ends on a high with Clockwork Cult as Coffin Storm don’t just dig into the depths of doom but get a bit rawer and infuse it with vitality via thrashier tempos.

Lower your expectations, be prepared for something mightily different for the artists involved, and you might come way loving this. Especially if you’re a person more engaged with throwback sounds. Coffin Storm might not be anyone’s new favourite band, but there is quality to be found on Arcana Rising. You just need to dig a bit.

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Coffin Storm – Arcana Rising Track Listing:

1. Over Frozen Moors
2. Arcana Rising
3. Open the Gallows
4. Eighty-Five And Seven Miles
5. Ceaseless Abandon
6. Clockwork Cult


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Cofffin Storm - Arcana Rising (Peaceville Records)
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