From Arcane Fires

Paragon Records 2008

On the third full length from Germany's atmospheric black metal occultists, Anael continue to to stir a murky cauldron that mixes a base of Samael with more eastern and esoteric moods.  Album opener Devil's Tongue, at times is similar to the fellow countrymen Secrets of the Moon with a more tribal beat in its initial stages.  The drums lend the song a tumbling feeling.  More ritualistic drumming emerges on She is Ever a Moon.  The song seems determined to build towards and explosion only to level off just before it reaches it zenith.  Guitar strumming and spoken vocals opening Down Winding Stairs delivers an eastern ambiance early on.  Then galloping black metal with streams of raging damnation burst forth from behind walls of controlled and methodical black metal.  Anael becomes a beast, finally uncaged!  Then something odd happens, a quirky medieval guitar riff flows out from the darkness and makes this song my favorite of the album.  Strange instrumentation, like distant brass thunder usher in the most Samael-esque material on the album as the pitch-black metal of Blood and Honey pounds forward.  The spoken words and shimmering guitars at the commencement of All Soul's Night instills an epic atmosphere to the track until menacing mid-tempoed black metal simmers over the rim of the cauldron.  At over an hour in length the album tends to drag on a little towards the end.  Black metal with mysterious moods and a power forged in flames of obscure origins is what Anael craft on From Arcane Fires.  Their controlled method makes this album meditative in its sentiment.  The album imbues an impression as if I am in attendance at a black metal ceremony.