Today, Primitive Reaction announces November 25th as the international release date for the highly anticipated second album of Finland’s Black Beast, Arctic Darkness.
For many years, Black Beast were the great “what if?” of Finnish black metal. Formed in 2002, when Finnish black metal was just beginning to assert its dominance over the underground, Black Beast released a self-titled 7″ EP in 2005 and, a year later, a split album with comrades Bloodhammer, which was the first release by a then-young Primitive Reaction. Across both recordings, the then-duo exhibited a sound that slotted well alongside the prevailing Finnish paradigm, yet they refreshingly exuded a Motorheaded aspect (or at least one Venomous) that was asskicking to the extreme.
Strangely, the name Black Beast thereafter receded into the shadows, only to appear once again in 2019 with their long-awaited debut album, Nocturnal Bloodlust. Now a power-trio, Black Beast indeed picked up exactly where they left off…and then pumped that quintessential Finnish black metal full of black magick, witchcraft, and (of course) nocturnal bloodlust. The result was just as asskicking as before, charging hard and giving no quarter, but the trio also managed to lace that waste with a tasteful touch of atmosphere, underlining that they truly are a BLACK METAL band above all.
Presumably here to stay, Black Beast return to survey the carnage with second album Arctic Darkness. A simple-yet-elegant title, Arctic Darkness is the sound of Black Beast maximizing that atmosphere. The Motorcharge is most definitely still there, as is the almost-sexual surge suggestive of classic Impaled Nazarene – grandfathers of both Finnish black metal AND bringing back the Motorhead influence into black metal at large – but with a subtly subliminal glaze of synths and a wider variation of tempos and general songcraft, the now-quartet march into new realms across this Arctic Darkness (bassist Xilocybe joined the band prior to the album); just witness the utterly EPIC ten-minute closer, “Hymn of the Freezing Wind,” where clean ‘n’ chorused guitars play counterpoint to a sleazy four-on-the-floor beat…truly, this landscape is a much more brazen one.
No more “what if?” and just more of WHAT IS, Black Beast plant their feet firmly in the snow with Arctic Darkness.
Plant your own feet in that snow with the brand-new track “Black Magic and Witchcraft” HERE at Primitive Reaction‘s official YouTube channel. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Black Beast (Finland)’s Arctic Darkness
1. Intro [1:50]
2. Black Magic and Witchcraft [4:27]
3. Fullmoon [4:46]
4. Sadistic Act in Demonic Lust [4:17]
5. Four Days in Paradise of Fornication [3:25]
6. Depths of Damnation [4:32]
7. Kuoleman Kylmästä Kosketuksesta [1:48]
8. Night of the Arctic Darkness [3:21]
9. I am He [3:16]
10. Summon the Angels [5:17]
11. Hymn of the Freezing Wind [10:28]