Artist: De Arma
Album: Lost, Alien and Forlorn
Genre: Post-rock / Black Metal
Release Date: July 2nd 2013
De Arma, a joint effort of Andreas Pettersson (of Armagedda & Lönndom fame) and vocalist Frank Allain (Fen) and drummer Johan Marklund, have released their first album Lost, Alien and Forlorn.
As the title of the album predicts, Lost, Alien and Forlorn brings us to a place of despair and desolation. As their label Trollmusic describes it: This is the soundtrack for the final days when you sit lonely in your room, the bleak light of the atomic winter crawling through the sallow window, watching the walls come down.
Musically De Arma bring a sound similar to Anathema, Opeth and Katatonia, yet with less use of extreme drums and distortion in the guitars, or -more recent- Aoria, Here and there, hints to gloomy psychedelic rock such as Pink Floyd in their most longing recordings arise, and the love of De Arma for all things black metal is clear from the use of blast beats, chords and distorted vocals here and there. Add dashes of pop-rock, gothic rock like Tiamat, a tiny bit of Placebo and you might get an impression of the sound of Lost, Alien and Forlorn.
The overall style of Lost, Alien and Forlorn is clearly post-rock. Post-rock of the heavier kind, but more appeased than progressive rock nonetheless. The vocals on this recording are both a positive and negative point: positive because they sound so honest and from the heart that you can't be left untouched, and negative because they aren't stable at all. Regardless, it is precisely this fragile singing that adds even more to the impression that De Arma are letting you in to their very personal thoughts and struggles.
The vocals are mixed deep into the mix of heavy chords, which gives a special effect. The lyrics are clearly articulated, so that the story of despair and desolation is coming across even stronger.
The tracks that stand out on Lost, Alien and Forlorn are “The Tower” with its blend of progressive rock and post-rock, “Left To Hide”, with its delicate balance between elements of progressive metal, extreme vocals and doomy melancholy, and “Behind These Filthy Panes”, a hypnotic sad yet beautiful song that has the deep sense of longing we know from Anathema, with a lovely combination of extreme and clean vocals.
To sum it up: Lost, Alien and Forlorn by De Arma is an invitation of this Swedish/English combo into their very personal world, with their struggles and skeletons in the closet. It is by far not perfect, in a sense that the production is sloppy here and there and the vocals are unbalanced – yet nothing of that seems to disturb me, as it brings a sense of honesty to the recording.
Take a Listen: Left to Hide
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