Bornless Fire – Arcanum

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.metropolis-records.com
Released: 2018
Buy Album: https://bornlessfire.bandcamp.com/album/arcanum
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/bornlessfire/

Band line-up:

Kristof Bathory – Vocals and Music
Brendin Ross – Live Keyboards
Angel Dies – Live Bass Guitar
Krz Souls – Live Electronic Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Genesis
2. Emerging From The Void
3. Feel The Rage
4. RUNA
5. Emblem Of Belial
6. Sex Magick
7. Leech
8. Eclipse Of The Soul video
9. The Miserable Image of Abrahamic Slavery
10. Becoming The Divine
11. Eclipse Of The Soul (Tactical Sekt Remix)
12. RUNA (Suicide Commando Remix)

Review:

Following years of pestering from fans, Bornless Fire’s Kristof Bathory of ‘Dawn of Ashes’ has finally finished recording his EBM/industrial music. His sources of inspiration come from late 80s to 2000s music of similar genres, along with the ‘divine spark’. That is the power that’s in every human soul that comes about through magic and rituals. Bathory’s return to his music and his self empowerment odyssey has resulted in the album ‘Arcanum’, which is a dark combination of industrial and the Left Hand Path.

Is this music magical? It does have a certain euphoric and intriguing atmosphere at times, but it’s often rather safe electronica when it comes to harmony. Don’t expect anything too otherworldly there, just diatonic minor and major stuff, for the most part. However to be fair, creepier, more dissonant sounds do often get added to keep the listener on their toes. Despite the lack of the jazzy and strange harmony one might hope for, the way the chord progressions develop with such musical smoothness is quite satisfying. They regularly have the drama and finesse of modern film music, just played with synthesisers and electric drums.

In contrast, the melodies have tendencies to be rather bland, for they often meander up and down the scale (but not without creativity). Syncopation and the odd leaps are common, but don’t expect anything that is above average, there. When the themes are at their most extreme, they literally go higher and lower in pitch with no embellishments whatsoever. Because of the strong backing and the way all instrumental parts compliment each other perfectly, the minimalism works far better than one might imagine, but something more adventurous would be nice.

In conclusion, this is pretty well written stuff but it lacks melodic catchiness. The screamed vocals may put many electronica fans off this album, and the absence of distorted guitars may put hardened industrial metal fans off of the music. However, those with open minds will be rewarded with skilled musicality and at least some sense of wonder; just don’t think you’ll hear any Allan Holdsworth style spaciness. You will however, get a lot of the drama that you may also hear in modern action films.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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