It is to my shame that I have, up until now, been unaware of the Norwegian Black Metal band ARVAS.
ARVAS is the creative outlet of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist V-Rex, and Equanimity is his seventh release (or eighth, if you want to include Nocturno Inferno, which was recorded under the band name Örth).
From the atmospheric intro Andante Noire to the killer closing cut Masked Jackal (Tribute to Coroner), Equanimity is nothing short of icily magnificent, where arrangements colder than a Norwegian waterfall in January crash up against thunderous riffs, most notably in the track My Devil, which is a personal favourite.
Throughout the ten tracks, you’ll hear echoes of Immortal and Celtic Frost, which is no bad thing. But don’t be fooled into thinking this album is in any way derivative. No, V-Rex has no shortage of effective and evocative ideas of his own to bring to the genre. This is, as they say, True Kvlt.
So if you’re looking for your next Black Metal fix, check this album out and prepare to feel the cold northern winds on your skin. You won’t be sorry.