Retro review: Arckanum - Boka Vm Kaos (2002)

Band: Arckanum
EP: "Boka Vm Kaos"
Style: Black Metal
Release date: 2002-02
Origin: Sweden

1. Capitvlvm IV - Bafomet
2. Capitvlvm I - Vm Kaos - Gatvm Ok Kosmos

So, why exactly did I come with such a stupid idea to review an EP that solely consists of two songs? Well, I really, really wanted my readers to be aware of the fantastic music that resides within this disc, that's why. Yeah, it's a bit stupid and also quite impossible to actually give it a rating. So I wont do that. Rate it, that is.

Though I am far from an expert in Ancient Swedish (I wouldn't probably understand a word if I heard someone actually speak it), I think that my translation of "Boka Vm Kaos" into "Book of Chaos" is quite close to the truth. Is the music also chaotic then? Well, I'll tell you all about that later.

For you see, I cannot just blabber on about the music, because you all know that sooner or later we have to speak about that abomination of an album cover that "Boka Vm Kaos" is. I seriously want to know; who in Lucifer's name came up with the incredibly insane idea to place a fucking goat-man on the cover? I assume it is suppose to represent Pan, of whom Arckanum-mastermind Shamaatae is so obsessed with. And whether they put this make-up and a (fake?) beard on some dude or Photoshopped it together doesn't really matter either. That alone is not the problem with the cover. The problem is obviously the look on the guy's face. They decided to not go with the "evil look", but instead tried what I assume is supposed to say something like; "I am in fact evil, so evil that I grin wickedly about it".
End result: Complete and utter failure.

Shamaatae, sometime during the nineties
The music itself on the other hand; is nothing but amazing. The disc opens with "Bafomet" - which just might be the best goddamn black metal-song I have ever heard. No kidding either. From the atmospheric spoken dialogue in the beginning, to the intensely melodic, yet harsh verses, the incredible chorus-lines and the chaotic outro - "Bafomet" really has it all. Sure, the production is zero to none and really muffled, but it is done so in a very convincing way and this song would loose so much with a more "modern" production. I wouldn't call neither the production nor the quite dull drumming any flaws - they do their job and suit the entire concept and package so damn well. Vocally, Shamaatae is a fucking god. Although, as I stated before, I cannot understand much of what he sings about, but it sounds like he means every damn word he spits out. And spitting in a really fitting word here as well. There's absolutely venom in the man's lungs, I have no doubt about that. The only other black metal-vocalist I can think of that actually could give Shamaatae a match is Mortuus of Marduk-fame. Just so you guys understand, this is as far from any Shagrath-clone as one could get.

The second song "Vm Kaos - Gatvm Ok Kosmos" is almost as good as "Bafomet". The two songs are really close, both in concept and in the way they're performed, but they still manage to keep the listener interested all through. Granted, "Vm Kaos - Gatvm Ok Kosmos" really doesn't evoke such strong emotions as "Bafomet" does, but otherwise it has nothing to be ashamed of.

This is an amazing release by Shamaatae and Arckanum, but as I mentioned above, I cannot rate it due to the fact that it's only two songs long. In other words, it's just too unfair. I have just had this urge for so long to say something about "Boka Vm Kaos", and now I finally have. If you call yourself a fan of black metal, you owe it to yourself to get this amazing EP!

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