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Arx Atrata - A Reckoning

  • Arx Atrata



    There are pale ghosts drifting across the face of the moon tonight, as she hangs in imperious silence, surrounded by her court of stars. The cold light of this distant regal gathering dusts the hills with silver magic, as they march away over the horizon and into forever. And I will follow them, step by step through this world of mystery that man has forgotten, that still shines through the quiet hours while the children of empty avarice lie in dreamless slumber…

    A Reckoning, the fourth full length album from Ben Sizer’s Arx Atrata begins with the instrumental track, ‘To Sunder The World’. Too substantial, too meaningful to be described as a mere introduction, ‘To Sunder The World’ builds in a purposeful, unhurried fashion. The increasing weight and brooding power within the sound is mirrored in the heart of the listener, a physical bond is formed as this journey begins, a tie that binds. There’s wonder, anticipation, a touch of fear…and then you are lifted, swept up into the starlit sky as ‘I Was Witness To His Passing’ arrives on the stage in exhilarating, dramatic fashion. There is a sense of wisdom imparted as the rasping tones of the narrator of this tale cut through the riffs that race around you and notes like the chiming of ethereal bells seem to open doors to times not passed, but that we no longer have the eyes to see. This is atmospheric black metal at its most vital and formidable. This is music that matters. It might just save you from a slow death that you don’t even know you are dying. You could get lost in this album, as surely as if you wander from the path in the vast, shadowed forests of fairytale. The songs flow into each other like the blending of blood. Each one a new vision, but all part of one life-changing voyage through the landscape of myth to the roots of the earth. At the heart of the album lies ‘Mercy Unearned’, an epic song of fierce beauty where haunting melody, fierce intensity and a harsh, impassioned vocal meet and entwine. The word epic is used here, not just as a lazy synonym for ‘long’, but in its truest sense – grand in scale, breathtaking in its immensity and depth of emotion when you are submerged in its unfolding narrative. ‘The Witch’ is another song that demands individual mention; suitably beguiling and enchanting , it moves between moods, tempos and dynamics like the changing seasons. It has fire, mystery, deep sadness…a multitude of tales to tell. A Reckoning is everything that past Arx Atrata albums will have led you to expect, but also more than you could ever have hoped for…a milestone release for Ben Sizer that he will surely find hard to surpass.

    Arx Atrata was summoned into life by Ben Sizer in 2013, more than ten years ago, beneath the boughs of ancient Sherwood Forest in the heart of England. With albums like 2019s critically acclaimed The Path Untravelled – about which Games, Braaains & A Headbanging Life stated “there is no faulting a single moment of this album” – and the remarkable, ambitious creativity of 2021s split release with Bleakwinter Shrine, The Warrior Cycle, Sizer has ensured Arx Atrata’s place in the annals of this island’s metal history. A Reckoning, his latest and without doubt greatest creation, will be released on CD and digital formats on July 5th, housed in stunning, evocative artwork that perfectly captures the spirit of the music that lies within. Be ready when the Reckoning time arrives…

    Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
    For fans of: Saor | Falls Of Rauros | Fen | Winterfylleth

    Ben Sizer – All music and vocals


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