This is another solid release from this Swedish one-man army. In arguably his most melodic and guitar-driven album yet, "Helvitismyrkr" continues ARCKANUM's already infallible catalogue of quality Black Metal releases. This album is more akin to the "ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ" album rather than the previous release, "Sviga Lae," except this contains a tad more melody and even the (very welcome) addition of lead guitar solos and less aggressive overall. The guitars are still sharp and crisp, thanks to the excellent post-recording magic of Shamaatae. There are some good heavy riffs that aren’t usually found the pre-”P” albums, especially on the third track, “Or Djupum.” This song is the real standout for me because of the catchy beginning, melodic guitar solo, and it really sounds energetic. The rest of the songs are also mid-paced with competent drums and vocals.
Contrary to what I’ve written so far, I’m not that impressed with this album - but not because it’s an unimpressive album, but because this is the quality I’m accustomed to with any ARCKANUM release. One tends to be more impressed with something if they’re not expecting it and that is definitely not the case with “Helvitismyrkr.” I knew what I was going to get and I’m not disappointed.
One pet-peeve however, is the useless six-minute outro. It’s some sort of recording of Shamaatae washing corpsepaint in his bathroom sink. Or not. Is there some quota on minutes or something?! WTF! Or perhaps a prelude to the next album? Other than that, there’s nothing to nitpick about - just enjoy it loud.
(Online July 7, 2012)