It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that I prefer my doom on the heavier side, but by no means that does mean the lighter side of the style has nothing of value for me. On the contrary, doom that isn’t massively heavy can produce some of the best that the style has ever produced, but seeing them blend together is an art we don’t get often enough. It’s with their upcoming effort that Poema Arcanvs sought to do that concept glory, and it’s done with such smooth execution and undeniable expertise that the entire album is no less than dazzling.
For me, the most interesting aspect about this album is not just the dichotomy between the differing levels of heaviness that’s brought to the table but the vocals where we get cleans and growls brought together. Obviously, that’s not far from a new thing for any style including doom, but there’s something about them within “Stardust Solitude” that I just can’t put my finger on why exactly they’re as entrancing as they are. Whether it be they’re just too good together or the vocalist has sold his soul for a great sound, I simply don’t know and, honestly, don’t care because of how marvelously it all works with the surrounding doom. There’s so much going on within “Stardust Solitude” that it’s a wonder this Chilean band made it work as gloriously as they did, and it’s just by the first track alone that you start to get the feeling that Poema Arcanvs has crafted something exceptional. The whole of the album is a constantly shifting ride that takes you all over the place as we’re shown dark chasms blanketed in occult visages only to be immediately thrown to a scene that’s just as beautiful as it is soul-wrenching at the drop of a hat that’s all done with immaculate skill. All eight tracks flow into each other spectacularly as “Stardust Solitude” doesn’t shy away whatsoever at keeping the listener guessing as to what’s coming next, and it becomes really clear really quickly that Poema Arcanvs absolutely revels in the fact that they keep the listener guessing time after time with only precise delivery being the result. It’s a tremendous effort that has just as much power as it does soul, and it’s the exact sort of thing that I can see an extremely large portion of the doom world coming together and appreciating should they be lucky enough to witness the grandeur that Poema Arcanvs has carefully crafted.
I admittedly had my doubts going into this album as I initially felt the clean vocals didn’t work too well with everything else that Poema Arcanvs was bringing to the table, but it took maybe fifteen minutes for that to wash right away as “Stardust Solitude” began to impress almost right off the bat. It’s an incredibly well-rounded album like few others to where I wasn’t able to rip myself away from it for some hours, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear many others say the same upon its release.
“Stardust Solitude” releases on August 28th via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Stardust Solitude” on Bandcamp here.
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