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ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://rateyourmusic.com/

It seems to me that there is an endless supply of metal bands out of Russia, more than from any other country it seems. (It seems to me that I am quite fond of the word seems and it seems like I should seemingly use it less.) About 1/2 half of the bands them have female vocalists, or so it seems (oopsy). The trouble is that there are hundreds and hundreds Russian metal bands that are lousy or barely average. In fact there are so many bands, most folks seem to skip over them. Arcanum Sanctum is a very good band from Russia and Fidus Achates is a huge surprise for me. Sung entirely in Russian, the vocals really don't sound much different from those found on an early Children of Bodom. To be honest, I really can't tell they are in Russian. The lyrics could be some inaudible melodic death metal vocals just as easily as some Russian lyrics. Yes, Fidus Achates is a melodic death metal release and track 3, Shadowed, sounds more like an early Children of Bodom song than COB themselves! Yes there is a bit of COB and Gothenberg influence on several of the early tracks but there is much more to Fidus Achates than this. There are are number of nice thrashy riffs and some actual technical thrash drumming on and off, too. In fact, the drumming is noticeable in a good sense. There are even hints of modern mdm keyboards, but no core vocals. I am not nearly done as this only describes half of Fidus Achates. Track 5, Moment of Death makes a huge departure from this mdm sound into a mixture of prog death, death and perhaps some death doom, too. We are introduced to some nice mellower more atmospheric sections, too. Track 6 is a nice somewhat acoustic number following along these mellower lines and the instrumental last song Outroduction has some terrific piano work, some even mimicking harpsichord playing. Sandwiched in between these two instrumentals is a song that opens with some mbm/sympho black instrumental music before returning to a more traditional mdm sound. Fidus Achates has a wide variety of sounds for sure and everything is very well done. Vocals and drumming certainly stand out, but the songwriting is also very good and certainly diverse. To all MDM folks, Fidus Achates is an album to check out. For you Russian folks, Arcanum Sanctum is certainly a band worth supporting.

http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/arcanum_sanctum/fidus_achates/


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://metal-exposure.com/

Metal is international, very international. Bands pop up from regions where you never would have expected to find a metal band. Arcanum Sanctum, a young band from the city Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia (very far East, almost near China!) send us their debut album for reviewing. (Hooray for internet!) On what is literally the other side of the world, this band formed in 2004 and started to record this cd in 2006. Due to some problems it took almost four years for this band to release the album Fidus Achates. As the first seconds of music come from my crappy laptop speakers, a comparisation comes to mind, with the band Children of Bodom. Even vocalist Vadim Sad Nalivaiko voice reminds me of mister Laihos. Also the guitarrifs sound a bit like Bodom. Not original but not bad music either. The first three songs are very much alike, up tempo, fast guitarrifs and drums and pretty much the same use of vocals. In the song Fidus Achates however, the music takes a small turn to to more melodic and slower songs. Sadly this only last two songs and an outro(including the the instrumental The Way to No Mans Land). A shame because I started to appreciate it a lot and thought it proved that this band could do more then make metal weve heard a lot of times before. Though the band does not have its own sound, its still pretty nice melodic death metal. Lovers of (older) Children of Bodom and Kalmah will have a blast with this album!

http://metal-exposure.com/?page_id=2875


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://www.metalreviews.com/

Given the mostly underwhelming quality of many an underground young Russian band I have heard lately, you can call my Surprise of the Month designation of Arcanum Sanctum a homey pick, but Fidus Achates has been both a revelation and a breath of fresh air. A myriad of bands are playing Black Metal, some are in the business of Christian (read White) Metal, and long faded Russian metallers Cherniy Kofe (Black Coffee) even professed to play Bright Metal. With this, I nominate Arcanum Sanctum to espouse Sincere Metal. Fidus Achates may not have uncovered a new style unheard of before, but it is presenting melodic death/thrash from one hearts depth thinking that it is indeed breaking walls. This heart must belong to Vadim Sad Nalivaiko from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a far-far-away city in Eastern Russia where Siberia meets China. Having persevered through numerous line-up changes, he was finally able to have the album see the light of the world through an up-and-coming Russian label More Hate Productions. The album is full of bouncy, both incendiary and incinerating, but absolutely captivating melodic death/thrash which should shame Children of Bodom, Kalmah and Eternal Tears of Sorrow that they have deviated from the style they originally called home (albeit all moving in different directions from there). One More Lie, Ghost of War and Shadowed, like non-stop opening salvos lounge the album forward, expansive melodies, quick kaleidoscopic-speed changing riffs and nimble fleeting leads are tempered in places with pulsating vibrating keyboards. Shadowed turns out to be more thundering with headbang gathering some strength, but the title track brings it back to a racing, more breakneck thrashy rhythm reminding of the early Dark Tranquillity, before the voluminous keyboard was discovered by the Swedes. Vadim handles the vocals himself, and his are mostly vomitous shrieks a la Alexi Laiho, with an occasional from-the-depth growl (Fidus Achates) or a gang shout. Even though I can push myself to hear a sporadic Russian word or sentences, the vocals prove universally extreme metal enough that you wont be able to decipher which language the lyrics are in, which is somewhat of a shame, since I found the Russian text to be rather profound in spots. Arcanum Sanctum further proves its versatility and maturity when the second part of the album displays a wide-ranging variety of tracks. Here we have slower, heavier, rolling Moment of Death, borrowing some from Suffocation riffs. The bass intro properly predicts the doomy sense of foreboding and grief this track is going unveil. The Way to No Mans Land is an electroacoustic instrumental on par with In Flames Hargalaten from Lunar Strain. Dreamkeaper provides another splash of harmonized thrash intensity after the most awesome keyboard intro, and finally Outroduction is also not afraid to mix in some electroacoustic guitar with the piano. The sound of the album, mixed and mastered by Arkady Navaho at his studio in Moscow, combines both power and clarity, complementing the bands approach. The only other Russian band of similar style I was excited about was Belarus Asguard, and what do you know, that band is also on More Hate Productions now, giving this label definite applause for recognizing quality. If you ever thought that Hatebreeder was one hell of an album, Fidus Achates will leave you longing for those good ol times.

http://www.metalreviews.com/reviews/detail.php3?id=6529


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://kronosmortus.hu/

Fidus Achates is a very strong debut of the Russian melodic death metal formation Arcanum Sanctum. They aim to conquer a popular but now exhausted subgenre and to tell the truth: their effort is not meaningless. Their style is a bit similar to Dark Tranquillity or mid-era Amoral, so they only use the keyboard if they have to, they involve other genres such as thrash or groove metal or even symphonic black metal, but only for seconds. You can't hear any of nowadays' metalcore here nor the classical At The Gates style. It's modern melodic death metal with great and memorable songs and high quality of production. They won't invent anything new and they won't be the new king of melodic death metal (yet) but if you want to hear a very good metal album and it doesn't bother you that it's only half an hour long then you should get this record.

http://kronosmortus.hu/node/25082


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://truecultheavymetal.com

Russian Melodic Death Metallers Arcanum Sanctum unleash their debut album 'Fidus Achates' upon the masses with emphatic style, combining traditional Melodic Death Metal with their native Russian language, they develop their own style of Metal and are one of Russia's more promising acts. Following influences like Sonic Syndicate and Scar Symmetry, the Russian trio ought to do well in the coming future, this as far as they are concerned is just the beginning, for the listener, and well they can make their own mind up.

http://truecultheavymetal.com/blog6.php/2010/08/22/rhys-re-viewz-vol-14-albums-of-architecture-oomph


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://www.metalpulse.com

Arcanum Sanctum take traditional melodic death metal to heart and combine this sound with elements of technical thrash and contrasting deeply melodic instrumentals to produce their outstanding debut release Fidus Achates. Despite many a debut album of somewhat mediocre quality, you can imagine my surprise to find this album masterful in every way from precise musicianship to crisp production that allows every aspect to shine through. In the beginning we hear melodic death metal reminicient of early Children of Bodom or Dark Tranquility though they do not stick strictly to this formula. A slightly different spin is put on a tried and true sound, perhaps a Russian flair that destinguishes Arcanum Sanctum from the typical Swedish or Finnish style. An aggressive, technical, and upbeat style spans the first four tracks until Moment of Death introduces the beginning of a deeper, more mellow feel that seems to seep into the second half of the album. In The Way to No Mans Land we hear a surprising, yet beautifully contrasting acoustic harmony and Dreamkeeper follows with equally stunning keyboard instrumental to kick off what sounds to me (very briefly) like early Dimmu Borgir. If I had to choose a favourite part of this entire album, that intro would be it. The remainder of the song pulls back the usual melodic death influences we hear in the first tracks followed by a slow, harmonized instrumental outro to finalize the album on an impressive note. The dynamic switch between aggressive melodic death metal and both acoustic and keyboard instrumentals is a combination I see as this albums most captivating aspect. It shows off the creative range and versatility these fellas are capable of and keeps the music vastly interesting. When you listen to Fidus Achates you are not only hearing each individual element and style, but also you are enveloped in the feeling of the album as a whole. Were thankful it finally found its way into the world after years in the making, and its an accomplishment these melodic masterminds should be proud of.

http://www.metalpulse.com/2010/09/arcanum-sanctum-fidus-achates/


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://www.mariosmetalmania.com/

Arcanum Sanctum brings you melodic death metal from Russia. This band started bringing their melody in 2004 and released the first demo in 2005. In 2010 they released their debut Fidus Achates. This album contains 8 tracks of melodic death metal that reminds me a bit of Children of Bodom. The guitar riffs are progressive and melodic and the drums are straight in your face with a lot up tempo and double bass work combined with a great groove. Then you get the grunts and they also remind me of Children of Bodom but more brutal. They also use keyboards and they are not too loud in the mix so you can hear everything well. But the best part for me on this album is the variety in the songs. Every song sounds melodic but filled with groove and power. The production of this album is also well done. This is the Russian answer on bands like the one that I mentioned and they do that fucking well. If you like bands like the one that I mentioned then you are going to enjoy this album because it is more brutal and aggressive.

http://www.mariosmetalmania.com/CDDVDreviews.html


ARCANUM SANCTUM "Fidus Achates"

http://www.freewebs.com/

Theres more than a little Children of Bodom influence permeating through the debut full-length album of Russian trio Arcanum Sanctum. A primarily melodic death metal outfit spawned in 2004 by band leader Vadim 'Sad' Nalivaiko as guitarist and ex vocalist Alexander Maltzev (now of Requiem Aeternam) Arcanum Sanctum had early recording success with their first demo a year after their inception then suffered a string of setbacks leading up to the eventual release of this album 'Fidus Achates'. Neglectful and careless labels, the shelving of the first demo, member departures and erratic prolonged recording sessions have all hindered the growth and efforts of the band and even now two thirds of the act credited on 'Fidus Achates' are done so as session musicians only. At a sprinkling of seconds over half an hour in running time 'Fidus Achates' gets out of the gate at a rapid clip with lead in track 'One More Lie' (thats the English translation; aside from one track and two instrumental pieces the compositions here are entitled and sung entirely in Russian). An oscillation of drums show the way to a flurry of up-tempo high end melodo death riffing and then the vocals of mainman Sad erupt in a shrieky raspy fashion that brings about the first of many ensuing parallels with Children of Bodom. The voice of the Arcanum Sanctum frontman rants and spits lyrics in Russian (though it isnt blatantly obvious or immediately distinguishable to tell any certain language merely by listening, only the accompanying lyric sheet identifies the language source) and for all the world has a style very akin to the earlier days of Alexi Laiho. It isnt only the vocals that draws these comparisons with the Finnish outfit but plenty of the guitar activity too, driven along at great pace, inundated with technicality and melody and whilst it isnt exactly a case of reinventing the wheel it is all done extremely well by proficient musicians with a strong command on their instruments. Soloing and demonstrations of lead break string acrobatics are out in full force in here and though theres a perpetual machine like burst of percussion carrying consistently throughout, the guitars undertake a profusion of different journeys. Consequential tracks 'Ghost Of War', 'Shadowed' (the one and only song on the album with English lyrics) and the title track 'Fidus Achates' all follow on a very similar trajectory; that is with high velocity melody ridden guitar riffery, proliferations of lead displays, snarling ragged vocals, thick surges of bass and constant machine gunning battery. 'Ghost Of War' maintains a likeminded up tempo approach and stylistic method as the opener but it is a little more restrained and tempered while 'Shadowed' is a burlier brawnier prospect indeed. Rippling with thrash metal patterns and harsher growls the English sung track perhaps inadvertently reveals much more reverent Bodom worship with its various lyrical references to 'the reaper' and 'the scythe upon your back'. There is a multitude of things brewed up in this composition from the thrash elements to chunky rhythms through saturated melodies and high ended wild frenzied caperings and while its true that hints of the Gothenburg melodic death metal movement dance and skirt around the fringes of the whole album it is bands such as the oft mentioned Children of Bodom, early Norther, Kalmah even Ensiferum that Arcanum Sanctum have more affinity with. By the time we hit 'Moment of Death' however the blitzkrieg speeds diminish somewhat, replaced by slower measured building chords and ominous drums, meatier rhythms and a more prominent profile for the bass. Pace still becomes a factor as the track progresses but not to the extent of the albums first half and vocally Sad verges more into trad. death metal turf with gruffer exclamations and growls rumbling over atmospheric axework. In fact the whole latter part of the album exhibits Arcanum Sanctum in a different light, showing there is a bit more depth and character to the act than rampant aggression and uptempo shredding. Short and sweet at two and a half minutes 'The Way To No Man's Land' is a completely instrumental piece formed only of tranquil acoustic guitar, drifting on gentle strummings and melodic pickings that are at striking odds with the lightning speed rifferamas of previous songs, and final track 'Outroduction' is in a similar vein. Forlorn tune and usage of keys is the principal component in the outro segment much like 'The Way to No Man's Land' (although no keys intruded on the guitar during that number). 'Dreamkeeper' is the other track of the bunch that steers to some degree outside the template of the albums first half beginning in an atmospheric manner with chorus voicings and a procession of keys, ultimately accompanied by moderate guitars and rhythm section. In parts it sounds almost akin to symphonic black metal though inevitably the vast percentage of its composition becomes and maintains the Bodom riffery and percussion punctuations.

'Fidus Achates' is not the type of album that is groundbreaking or astoundingly new for it follows a very similar musical path which has been well blazed by the various band names that have popped up during the course of this review but in saying that it is carried off with masterful execution by its protagonists, particularly band leader Sad. It's a shame Arcanum Sanctum have been hamstrung and hobbled by an assortment of mishaps along the way, otherwise they could have a solid handful of recordings under their belt and the cultivation of a sound all their own. Perhaps the future will hold good things for the Russian outfit for they do have the capacity to be impressive.

http://www.freewebs.com/blackbellemusic/musicreviews.htm


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