Coffin Storm – ‘Arcana Rising’ [Album Review]

Review: Natalie Lorenz

As the dusk of expectation settled, fans anticipated a familiar black metal tempest from Fenriz’s new venture, Coffin Storm; yet, Arcana Rising shatters these confines with a feisty amalgamation of doom-tinged riffs and familiar vocal incantations that could summon an army fit for Sauron.

In the ever-evolving tapestry of metal, a new chapter unfolds with the emergence of Coffin Storm, an impressive trio comprised of metal icons Apollyon (Aura Noir/Lamented Souls), Bestial Tormentor (Infernö/Lamented Souls), and Fenriz (Darkthrone/Isengard).

Unleashing their debut album, Arcana Rising, through Peaceville Records on March 29, 2024, Coffin Storm ventures beyond the realm of shadows, crafting an auditory odyssey that defies the chains of conventional genre boundaries.

While my affinity for thrash may not be as fervent, I find myself appreciating the infusion of thrashy riffs that Arcana Rising offers. It’s a testament to Coffin Storm’s versatility that they seamlessly blend these elements with the captivating doom-laden atmosphere that permeates the album. The pace of the music is carefully crafted, guiding listeners through an immersive journey that builds to moments of intense catharsis at all the right moments.

One remarkable aspect of Arcana Rising is its clean and enjoyable production, reminiscent of the simplicity of 80s metal. The album’s sound is not overly polished by today’s standards, adding to its charm and enhancing the overall enjoyment. This stripped-down approach captures a timeless essence, allowing the music to shine with a raw and genuine energy. It embraces a minimalism that adds to the album’s charm and creates an enjoyable listening experience.

The songs on Arcana Rising lean towards the longer side, allowing Coffin Storm to fully explore the depths of their compositions. With the shortest track clocking in at just over 6 minutes and the longest stretching nearly ten and a half minutes, the band creates expansive aural landscapes that beckon listeners to lose themselves within. Personally, the music possesses an allure that evokes an instinctive desire in me to dance.

Among the tracks on Arcana Rising, my personal favourite would have to be track number 4, “Eight-Five and Seven Miles.” Fenriz’s vocal performance on this song is nothing short of captivating, highlighted by his dynamic delivery and the way he rolls his R’s, infusing the lyrics with a sense of dark enchantment. The heaviness of the instrumentation further amplifies the impact, creating a commanding and memorable experience that truly rules.

As the album reaches its conclusion, Arcana Rising culminates perfectly with song number 6, “Clockwork Cult.” This final track showcases an atmospherically epic ending that leaves a lasting impression, serving as a testament to Coffin Storm’s ability to craft a cohesive and captivating musical journey.

Throughout Arcana Rising, discerning ears will undoubtedly detect the influences of Candlemass, Pentagram, Metallica, and early Kreator. These inspirations are woven into Coffin Storm’s unique sound, paying homage to the rich legacy of metal while forging their own sound.

Arcana Rising is a testament to Coffin Storm’s artistry. With its blend of doom-laden melodies, thrashy riffs, its subtle nod to the influences that have shaped those genres. It invites listeners on a journey that lingers long after the final notes have faded, leaving a desire for more.

‘Arcana Rising is out now on CD, limited orange vinyl, and black vinyl with pre-orders available here:

(photo credit: Christian KICKAN Holm)