Year of release: 2020
Released by: Edged Circle Productions
Rating: 8,1 / 10
The phrase “excellent Black Metal from Peru” in 2020 seems funny only to clinical idiots and wannabe "metalheads" who still believe in the viability of the Scandinavian scene. But the phrase “one of the underground’s best-kept secrets” that starts the press release of “Projections” made me very eager to send the promo to the trash can without listening to it. This stamp, which means "another fucking band that nobody heard about" became dull about the day after it was born. One way or another, the qualities of the band are in no way determined by its popularity. ARCADA is really cool.
Let's be honest - the blessing and curse of South American bands is their extremely strong metal enthusiasm. South Americans adore metal in almost all its manifestations, they play with flaming passion, without a twinge of conscience using the ideas of their idols. That is why they are so good in old school metal styles, where brute force and crazy energies rule, but less likely to cope with the modern Black Metal, requiring a more sophisticated approach. ARCADA is aiming at the latter. In their work, there is no place for a frantic headbanging, dirty bathoriesque stuff and other sacred elements of real metal. The band's ambitions are focused on the sphere of serious occult work, conducted with an eye on MEPHORASH, SCHAMMASCH, ACHERONTAS. Many parallels / borrowings can be seen easily, but, in the end, everyone reads about the same grimoires.
Music of ARCADA is a very fast and deep sounding Black Metal with hypnotic guitar parts, distinct bass and correctly measured melody. Surely there will be people who disagree with the next statement, but half of the album, if not more, evokes unambiguous associations with ... PESTILENTIA on “Where the Light Dies”. The compositions are made very similarly, some individual guitar moves are repeated perfectly, the richness of sound is also hidden under a smooth surface. Transitions between tones, like at 2:40 in the title track, are recognized instantly. It is unlikely that ARCADA listened to PESTILENTIA, but, I believe, they take the same initial approach to composing music: squeeze the maximum out of the classical set of instruments, creating an authentic Black Metal without farts and whistles. What is very different is the vocals, using all the extreme techniques that you can only remember. Unfortunately, no matter how the vocalist sings, not a single word can be understood - the voice is set in the mix along with the instruments, as a result of which it loses in the battle of three against one.
To summarize: “Projections” is proper and harmonious modern Black Metal. I recommend it to those who are tired of retro, but do not confuse this music with the Black Metal products of large commercial labels. “Projections” will reveal its diabolical cards only to those who have sufficient perseverance and dedication.