It’s never easy to get a band together, to turn an embryo of an idea, a beginning of a concept into a fully realised and focused sound. Even harder to keep that early momentum going and keep all bandmates happy and with a focused direction. It seems Aratron have had their fair share of experience in the trails and tribulations of simply putting out a single record. Formed in 2000 by guitarist Maurice Sas and Vocalist Raymond Markesteijn, Aratron have been toiling away off and on with their first studio album. Without permanent members and inconsistencies with vocalists it seems like this blackened death metal band has really struggled to emerge from Maurice’s mind.
Finally 17 years later, Aratron, using session performers with Sas on Bass and Ronald Von Baren now on vocals, their album Darkness is Coming is finally ready.
They are billed as a death metal band but I don’t hear much in the way of death as opening track the “The Dark Curse” and “Primal Shrine” are undoubtedly black metal. Black, death, blackened death – whatever you want to call it, it’s definitely good. The production is nice and clean and Sas’s bass is loud and prominent.
Track three, “Slow Decay” is a much lower number and really brings across another side of the band, one which I personally prefer. As a fan of blackened death bands like Archgoat, I can really hear influences from that band in this album. This is my stand out track from this album and I would happily add this to my playlist.
“Raise the Black” has a great groove and a slight pirate chant to it which made me smile. The rest of the album is okay, nothing hugely new or ground breaking but written and performed well enough to hold my interest. I’d love to hear more slower tempo stuff from them if “Slow Decay” is anything to go by. Lets hope that it doesn’t take another 17 years to put out a follow up album.
Review by Nathan Slack