Argharus "Pleištas" CDPosted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 @ 7:29am » permalink
"Pleištas" is the debut full-length from Lithuanian black metal act Argharus, released last month by Inferna Profundus and distributed digitally by MetalHit.com. I had never heard of this band before, but the somewhat atypical cover art got me curious enough to check 'em out, and I liked what I heard. The record consists largely of relatively long songs (eight tracks topping 51 minutes) that combine those cold, winding, dissonant riffs with tactful doses of straightforward blasts and gnashing tremolo picking, but really catches your interest with the peculiar little twists and turns that add some intrigue and spice up the listen – from relatively common but still cool uses of warped chord phrasings/bends (accentuated here by subtle panning/layering techniques) or quick, frantic bursts in the arrangements to chunky, alternate-picked thrash runs and stripped down clean passages. There's actually a little bit of a (newer) Shining-esque vibe going on in terms of the overall crispness of the recording and the way that some of the vocal work is handled (combining a number of shrieks, snarls, screams, and growls for an at times "dramatic" delivery), though they admittedly lack the overall songwriting power that Shining has most recently started to achieve (granted the superb "Viskas Perniek", one of the only tracks running less than six minutes, comes pretty damn close). Not to take away from Argharus, though, as this is an extremely solid album from a promising band that will likely continue to push themselves to take this foundation into even more interesting directions down the road. I'll look forward to hearing more when that time comes…
I'm not seeing physical copies of the CD available at any of my usual stops in terms of US distros, but you can score the mp3's directly from MetalHit.com (or Amazon.com) now. It should hit a number of other larger digital retailers in the next few weeks, if nothing else.