Here’s one of the moments when this beautiful hobby of writing music reviews rewards you above all else: the possibility of discovering a record that, normally, you would hardly have come across. Lost, Alien And Forlorn, De Arma‘s debut album, is a surprisingly beautiful album, capable of evoking the melancholy and sense of dulling pain that distinguished those masterpieces entitled Discouraged Ones and Tonight’s Decision by fellow countrymen Katatonia. De Arma are based in Sweden, but their vocals are by Englishman Frank Allain, singer (under the name of The Watcher) of the excellent Fen, with whom they shared a split album in 2011. The album opens with The Tower and its enveloping atmospheres that evoke the ghost of Joy Division, but in fact in the course of its unravelling it shows different facets, ranging from quieter moments surrounded by an aura of dark melancholy to others in which accelerations of black matrix and the scream take over, without distorting the balance of the compositions. Behind These Filthy Panes is a track that testifies significantly what has just been said, with which De Arma manage to combine in a spontaneous way the best aspects of Katatonia, Agalloch and Fen themselves, but it is as a whole that Lost, Alien And Forlorn reveals itself as one of the most pleasant surprises of this beginning of 2013. The brilliant songwriting of multi-instrumentalist Andreas Petterson and Frank’s voice, considerably improved compared to the times of The Malediction Fields, give us a work that shines for emotional intensity while resulting not particularly difficult to assimilate.
2013 – Trollmusic
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