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Origin Country: United States
Style Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Audio Bitrate: Lossless
Audio Codec: Flac (.flac)
Rip Type: image+.cue
Catalog ID: NNR-002-1
Label: Native North Records
Social: Athemesia Facebook
Size: 316 MegaBytes.
Arthemesia was a very obscure black metal band to come out of Finland in the late 1990s. Their debut album, “Devs – Iratvs”, was released in 2001 on Native North Records. What’s really interesting about this band is how unknown they were yet the legendary Jari Mäenpää himself played guitars and keyboards on this record. I listened to this shortly after getting into Ensiferum and Wintersun for the first time, around nine years ago, and right then and there, I was blown away. How could such a solid sounding band go so unnoticed? It’s quite the mystery.
Especially for a black metal album, this thing is super easy to digest and listen to. Really, casual fans of extreme metal, or metal in general so long as they don’t mind harsh vocals, could listen to this and probably get some enjoyment out of it. Why? Because it boasts a very clean, yet well done, production sound. The instruments are all there and they sound polished to the point of sounding good rather than being too clean and shiny. Also, this is a melodic black metal album, as opposed to a standard black metal one. You can expect to hear freezing riffs played at blistering speeds and a chilly atmosphere but there are plenty of moments of melody here, and some acoustic segments in “Universal Black” (which sounds quite similar to Dissection in the intro). “Ancestor of Magick” is my favorite song on this album, if that could not be implied by my titling of this review. This song contains what I believe to be the best riffing on the album with a very masterful guitar solo. With Jari handling this, you really wouldn’t expect anything less. “Lifemocker”, “Blade Circle”, and “Heaven Ablaze” also come close to this. These songs, while melodic (especially “Lifemocker”), have a bit more of a rough black metal style to them in comparison to “Universal Black” and “Ancestor of Magick”.
The vocals, man. They’re hateful! They sound pretty good, sounding similar to very early Children of Bodom at times. There are clean vocals here as well and they are beautiful. In fact, Jari handles the clean vocals. Which, for some reason to me, he sounds a little different on this album than he usually does. It could be the way they were recorded or him just trying out a different singing style, or the fact that they’re very quiet in comparison to the rest of the music. This is really one of my only quarrels with the album. These clean vocals were recorded at way too low of a volume and aren’t given much room to breathe. Really, this is my only issue with the production. Hell, even the bass is audible! You’d think such an underground black metal band would have tried to sound a bit more raw, but nope!
Back when I was younger and was really into drawing logos from my favorite bands to slide into my school binders, I drew this in a fairly large scale on a piece of paper and slid it into my History binder. I still have that drawing somewhere back in Virginia. This album is something that really should be listened to by black metal fans, or fans of Jari Mäenpää, because more often than not, that would be the reason anyone would likely come accross this. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did!
Arthemesia Devs Iratvs Tracklist
- 1. Blade Circle 04:01
- 2. Universal Black 05:27
- 3. The Breeze of Grief 04:30
- 4. Draconis Infernvs 04:16
- 5. Ancestor of Magick 04:51
- 6. Lifemocker 04:17
- 7. Heaven Ablaze 03:17
- 8. Celebration of the Heaven Lost 05:44
- 9. Whore of the Satan’s Night 10:33
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