Evidently, there are two Arkenstones. This is the Portuguese version, which emerged from the ashes of Celtic Dance. You may recognise their name from appearances on tribute albums to Burzum and Judas Iscariot. Or perhaps not… Either way, ‘Hymns to Our Fatherland‘ is the second full-length from this Lusitanian BM duo, who display a sense of fierce territorial pride. Recorded in 2004/2005 and made available on CD format for the first time thanks to Russian label Au-To-Dafe, the album is dedicated to “our ancestors” who spent their time “fighting for our kingdom”. Obviously devote nationalism is a universal phenomenon.

Six tracks of caustic, reverberating yet harmonious BM, averaging six minutes each, spin your head and remind us of a time when the blackest metal was also the least polished. Laldaboath and Tzaboath are content to leave their music as raw as Christ’s freshly-whipped ass and the melodies they somehow uncover are more Ildjarn than fucking Naglfar. Mentally, these guys seem to be in the same headspace as Wrest, Sin Nanna, Numinas and Varg. The songs are basic yet effective and the titles tell us all we need to know about the ideology behind the music.

From The Gates‘ bristles with nationalist fervour, ‘The North Wind‘ is like the blackest ever reincarnation of Joy Division, and Arkenstone’s contribution to the aforementioned JI tribute is a worthy inclusion. Overall, a tidy little release that defies criticism and represents a sound investment.

Evilometer: 555/666

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