Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Arwat – Criminally Insane With Knowledge of State Secrets

Label: Self released

Date: May 15th, 2021

I strongly believe it would’ve made my life a whole lot easier if I got this album for my personal collection and enjoyment. However, there was a time in my life when I committed to being a music critic. Thus I’m left with the unfortunate task to have to evaluate, describe and present you with the chewed up version of what I’m listening to for the past couple of days.

Now, it wouldn’t be such a difficult task if Arwat would have chosen a path and kept to it. On this particular occasion, the debut album feels like the Croatian quartet went onto several different roads and met up on a crossroad to discuss their individual experiences. Not that the album is not coherent, because it is quite homogeneous in its entirety. Yet, the songs seem to be a sum of many parts that are not quite pieced together properly.

Namely, you can find here influences that range from hardcore punk, to hard rock, new wave of British heavy metal, thrash metal, early death metal, traditional folk music… In other words, a whole lot of ingredients and not a lot to stick to as an absolute reference. Arwat does not offer a mainline that would run through the entire record as a foundation to build upon with various additions.

Furthermore, this is one criminally long display of knowledge. Seventy five minutes is way too much to hold on to. If Arwat had enough for that length, it wouldn’t be a problem. But there’s just too few particularly interesting moments to keep the attention at full the whole playtime.

To not make it all too dark, there are interesting moments. Catchy fragments, memorable, driving parts, nicely crafted ideas, all of it appears at one time or another. Adding to it, lyrics are also quite interesting and, as far as I’m concerned, one of the biggest qualities Arwat possesses. Socially conscious, critical to their surroundings and apparently very proud of their heritage. Doesn’t matter if they’re written in Croatian of English.

I’m losing the focus on this review as well, so perhaps it is the high time to stop here. Concluding what I’ve tried to explain above, Arwat is not yet a band I would recommend. Though a decent attempt, their debut full length album is filled with ideas, but all too versatile and not completely thought through. A more cohesive thinking and figuring out a unified road to take might bring a lot more success in the future, since they are obviously four fairly creative persons. It would just take more hard work and dedication to come to a goal that will make a deeper impression on any given listener.