Arkona
Wszechzlodowacenie 

Hell Is Here Productions 2008

Not to be confused with the Russian folk metal band this is the underground black metal band from Poland.  Wszechzlodowacenie is a compilation of splits (with Moontower, Besatt/Thirst, and Szron) and a couple cover songs (Veles, Besatt, Graveland and Honor) from this obscure and atmospheric horde.  The band's style is simplistically orchestral, and bears a striking resemblance to the early works of the Nordic synth masters like Dimmu, Gehenna and Enslaved.  Swit Bogow Zmierzch Bogow I opens the album with a freezingly melodic guitar molded against a backdrop of speedy programmed drums and chilling synth.  Following close behind is Kajdany Zniewolenia with its fuzzed out guitars and cruelly sawing riffs.  The track is unforgiving in its speedy delivery of dense walls of sound and unfeeling vocals.  At the 2:23 mark the track drops into some folkish riffs that bring to mind Kampfar.  Ghoulish keys along the line of Gehenna's First Spell get Gdzie Bogowie Sa Jak Bracia I Siostry underway.  The track then picks up in speed and ugliness with primitive riffs maliciously flailing from side to side.  The tension of the song keeps increasing as the pace of the song quickens and the synth becomes more intense.  Air raid sirens and militant drum lines are broken by classical piano and layered war sounds on Holokaust Zniewolonych Mas.  Taking a more traditional and symphonic approach is the synth heavy Zrodzony Z Ognia I Lodu.  Arkona's work is atmospheric and misanthropic despite the heavy use of keys.  In much the same way that Dimmu's For All Tid was cold and obscure sounding, so too is Wszechzlodowacenie.  The utilization of fuzzed guitars and cold keyboards contributes to this overall feeling of icy desolation.  If you crave synth driven black metal that hearkens to a time when the underground was alive with the flames of totalitarian grimness regardless of the use of keys then Arkona will reawaken that urge within you.