It’s no secret that UK black metal has had somewhat or a resurgence in the past few years with bands like Winterfylleth and A Forest Of Stars leading the charge. It’s an exciting time and more bands are starting to embrace the new found attention from a fanbase and media who no longer perceive underground black metal as something “a bit silly” and recorded by skinny sunlight deprived teenagers on a potato. On the contrary; Torver and Arcane North have produced a split in “From Moonrise To Moonset” that really does prove that it’s grim up north.
Torver immediately conjure a mental image of medieval winter woodland complete with howling wolves and hooting owls. While the intro brings to mind a cross between a 1980’s horror series and a survival horror game soundtrack the first proper song “Naked In The Wilderness” firmly marks down the bands intent. Swirling atmosphere and grisly guitars are countered with beautifully executed choral vocals and lead violin work, similar to Lord of the Rings obsessed black metallers Summoning. Despite the occasional strong whiff of cheese, Torver are delightfully eerie and ooze just the right amount of atmosphere, certainly a band to keep an eye on.
Arcane North are a different proposition taking on a sound akin to the early Hecate Enthroned albums but with a much more mid paced execution. Each track is somewhat of a slow burner, gradually drawing you in and with all them clocking in at over the ten minute mark – this seems to be tailor made so that they never outstay their welcome. This is a sound that will be very familiar to most black metal fans, but it’s done ever so well.
“From Moonrise To Moonset” is a nice little gem of two underground UK black metal bands that are more than deserving of your attention. It’s further proof that you shouldn’t just turn to the bands adorning the magazine covers right now for good black metal.