Friday, June 14, 2024
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It has been three long, cold years since “The Warrior Cycle”, Arx Atrata’s instrumental split release with Bleakwinter Shrine and an even longer five years since “The Path Untravelled”, the last full length album from Ben Sizer’s peerless atmospheric black metal creation. Now Arx Atrata has returned to wake us from our slumbers once again, to take us by the hand and lead us through the door of imagination to the world we have forgotten. It’s time to gaze upon the moonlit hills and the forests that stretch into eternity, to ride the winds over crystal waters and listen to the wisdom of the witch…the time of “A Reckoning” is here.

Ben Sizer first invoked the spirit of Arx Atrata in 2013 and began his incredible musical journey through an untarnished kingdom of natural wonder and ancient magic that lies beyond the weary gaze of our clouded eyes. With each release Arx Atrata has opened a portal for us into this world beyond our grey, stultifying slough of despond. “A Reckoning” is the most atmospheric and enthralling Arx Atrata album to date, full of elemental power and dream weaving thaumaturgy. It can’t be broken down into elements for analysis, it can only be embraced and experienced in its all consuming, rugged glory. “To Sunder The World” welcomes us back to this realm of miracles, its layers of instrumental conjurations continually building, one upon the other, preparing us for the gale force splendour of “I Was A Witness To His Passing”. Riffs race across the invoked visionary landscape while a rasping voice of wisdom and passion speaks between the notes of chiming ice. Further down the path we find the many faces of “The Witch”, brought to life by music that invokes melancholy and mystery, blessings, curses and timeless secrets. We fall through the storm clouds and windswept grandeur of “Our Dark Shadow” and stand in awe at the foot of the towering monolith that is “Mercy Unearned”. “A Reckoning” cradles us in a dream of solitude, isolated from the onslaught of meaningless intrusions that typifies our modern lives. It is everything that atmospheric black metal aspires to be and more.

“A Reckoning” will be unveiled on July 5th, on both CD and digital formats, complete with artwork that captures a tangible representation of the album’s spirit. Watch for its coming and seize its outstretched hand; cast the slow death of mundanity and modernity behind you and remember how to dream.

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