Saturday, 22 May 2021

WORMWOOD - Arkivet - [2021] - Album Review by NPH - Rate 9,5/10


- "ARKIVET" - 2021 | Tracklist:
1. The Archive
2. Overgrowth
3. End of Message
4. My Northern Heart
5. Ensamheten
6. The Slow Drown
7. The Gentle Touch of Humanity

[Release Date: 2021-07-16]


Nine - Vocals
Tobias Rydsheim - Lead Guitar/Keys/BackUp Vocals
Daniel Johansson - Drums
Jerry Engström - Rhythm Guitar
Oskar Tornborg - Bass/Vocals

Guest musicians:
Martin Björklund - Violin
Moa Sjölander - Vocals
Walter Basile - Vocals

The album was mixed and mastered the renowned pop/dance producer Jonathan Ojeda

WORMWOOD - Arkivet - 2021 -
Black Lodge Records
Genre: Melodic Black Metal

"(...) Crack the ribcage of Gaia
Expose the rot which is us
We poisoned the well a millennia ago And forced everyone to drink
Now let us drown
Breath in and forget
The fault that which is us
We are the ghosts of the past Remembered by the few who last
Man deserves to die....  (...)"
 | WORMWOOD | The Archive | Arkivet* |

* Arkivet (The Archive)
is a document you write for those who want to make it easier for their close ones after their passing where you can tell how you want to have your funeral arranged, where important documents are located, last wishes, etc.. | WORMWOOD uses this as a metaphor for the whole world. The last words to an already dead planet.


Inspired by the troubled times we all live in through COVID-19 pandemics comes the third album of Swedish sensation band WORMWOOD. "Arkivet" is the band new conceptual album that comes with a severe warning towards Mankind as we devour Nature resources in a vertiginous way, which in time shall be our own downfall into extinction. The album concept serves as awareness and ecological conscience to all Humanity, who constantly keeps on draining Earth resources, paving in this way our path to self-destruction and the end of another era on this exhausted planet, mistake after mistake, this is how we all shall fall!

WORMWOOD is a band forged in the heathen flames of Rydsheim (Sweden) in 2014. Musically speaking WORMWOOD is a band hard to categorize, they play melodic black metal with allot of folk, atmospheric and even experimental elements that could fit on some 70's 80's heavy / rock bands. All of this scorching musical blend together creates an unpredictable and unexpected mix that has defined WORMWOOD identity through the years, allowing the band to get allot of attention from the media and metal adepts in general, no wonder they have participated already in some great tours and festivals. With this ascension thought the years WORMWOOD have become one of the leading bands on Swedish metal scene, but yet allot more is to come in their promising career!

"Arkivet" new album, first meant to be entitled "Vita Arkivet" (English = The white archive), then changed due to legal problems, is the follow up creation to "Nattarvet" (English = The Night's Heritage) a highly acclaimed album which ascended to the Swedish charts and was nominated for several awards. The new album, doesn't limit to follow its predecessor footsteps into success, in fact there are several developments and new elements added to this new amazing piece. Some are easier to notice than others like the whole new sound production, mainly the drums! Daniel drums on this piece sound rawer than ever, rougher in a primordial old-fashioned way, giving the whole sound a different dynamics and old-school organic sound, if that wasn't enough, here and there you may notice the incursion of some traditional heavy metal oriented elements, sometimes the drums may even remind you Nicko McBrain Iron Maiden'ish style of percussion, giving with it an even wider range of expansion to the bands own typical sound! Yet WORMWOOD still sound like themselves, and yes, you can identify their sound easily, so don't fear! Another thing you may notice is that WORMWOOD have included more of their amazing atmospheric/experimental, almost transcendental moments, if you listened to "Nattarvet" you will know what I mean. On the new and outstanding opus of melodic black metal you can experience these special moments in almost each and every track.
Also something to be noticed on the new album is the fact that the guest vocal appearances are way more discrete and merge perfectly with Nine main vocals and Oscar and Tobias backing vocals. On the other hand, remaining constant as on previous albums, the violin parts played by
Martin Björklund are as always, a pleasant presence wherever they can be heard on any of WORMWOOD creations. In my opinion this is also an identity enhancer for the band quintessence, keeping in this way their Scandinavian folk distinctiveness, something that the band already got us used since their very first release until the current times. Another constant on this album is the guitar brilliance and daring sound, something that we have been used also since previous albums, from harsh black metal, catchy melodic, head-banging heavy metal riffage to experimental or atmospheric heavy/rock, we have it all on this amazing guitar work done by Tobias and Jerry.
"Arkivet" recording and production by
renowned pop/dance producer Jonathan Ojeda might be the most significant change and surprise of them all on the usual WORMWOOD sound as I mentioned before. "Arkivet" sounds way different from any of its predecessors, hard to believe that Metal music isn't the producer usual comfort zone, this since the new album sounds quite Metal'ish in an old-fashioned way, keeping each musical elements with their most primordial and old-school vibe.

While the first album "Ghostlands..." was inspired by the admiration of the cosmos and Scandinavian wonders and the second album "Nattarvet" was inspired by the famine and harsh times in Swedish past, the new album gets its inspiration from the book "Arkivet/The Archive" from the very talented Swedish author Mikael Strömberg, and it deals with the last days of Mankind on this Earth, the ultimate end of the Human kind who exhausted their planet resources. We simply can't co-exist with the surrounding Nature without draining it completely for our own good and wickedness. Humanity is sure to fail and there is nothing we can do to avoid our self-destruction, our inability to adapt in a to this world and live sustainably will be our ultimate doom! Mother-Nature will take what is Hers and we shall fade into oblivion! "Arkivet" comes without any doubts with a strong environmental awareness and warning!
The new and audacious conceptual album is quite emotive and strong, carrying with it a strong message to its listeners, teasing them to act before it's too late... but as the album reaches to its end you will understand that we are already too late to redeem the harm we have created on this wounded and bleeding Earth, scarred from all our actions and evil deeds! ... in the end, we deserve to die!

is above all a mature melodic black metal experience, a journey across Mankind fails on this Earth! WORMWOOD has always been a band attached to Nature and ecology since their beginning, so it's without surprise that we have such a strong enlightening creation. The new album brings forwards a rawer and ferocious sound full of hatred and awareness towards Humanity past, present and future faults on this World that we've been destroying since the birth of our times.
"Arkivet" new album is as usual quite uniform in quality and rises in tension till its end, track-by-track you can feel it while you are absorbed by such surrounding sound which carries such a strong message that you can't simply be indifferent to. The more you listen to "Arkivet" the more details you will find and, in this way, you will enjoy it more and more on each listening, first you may find it strange but once you go deeper you will be amazed with it! So, sit down and listen to the sound of the coming Apocalypse!

The Archive" introduces us to this great conceptual album and it tells us about the last story written by the few hopeless human survivors of this self-inflicted Apocalypse, it tells us about our Mankind faults on preserving Mother-Nature most valuable elements which are indispensable for us to live our lives. One by one, we are certain to die and pay for the evil than Man has done to this Earth!
This is a fast song with a captivating melody that shall be stuck to your ears since first listening, an easy to follow, well balanced song with a catchy melody in a melancholic atmosphere. "The Archive" song has all that essential sound that defines WORMWOOD as a band! Including a great fitting experimental rock moment, some renewed old-school drumming sound and ferocious blast-beats. No wonder this is one of my favourite tracks of the album! 

is the following track and it represents the ill-natured Human behaviour as it constantly overcomes of all possible limits and warning sings given by Mother-Nature, we simply gone one step too far and She shall take back what is hers! We are doomed to end our own kind in a self-inflicted extinction, killing the few who have yet survived!
This is another catchy and melodic song that will easily get stuck on your ears, at least it got on mine as it's also one of my favourite songs of the album! A natural head-banging song with a smashing heavy metal oriented solo, you can also notice the incursion of some unusual musical elements on WORMWOOD typical sound that constantly grows and reinvents itself in this way!

"End of Message"
is the final message from the last of our kind, a testament send towards the black cosmos just before we fade out and disappear from this World! Hoping that someone will listen to this final message in the future so that they don't repeat same mistakes again on this Earth.
This is a melancholic song charged with a strong feeling of despair, hate and regret. An amazing combination of aggression and sorrowful moments condense into another outstanding and well-balanced melodic song! This is another track which defines WORMWOOD sound at best!

"My Northern Heart"
is a brilliant hymn to WORMWOOD Northern ancestors and unspoiled lands. A song with a very powerful folk vibe and atmosphere, revealing the band roots at best and with it creating an anthem of pure Scandinavian quintessence! No wonder this is my favourite track of this whole album, and one of the best WORMWOOD tracks ever created in my opinion, I simply love it! It reminds me of some timeless heavy metal classics combined with WORMWOOD strong Scandinavian folk and melodic black metal identity. On this track the heartfelt choirs and strong folk vibe elevate this heathen monolith into high grounds of Epic grandeur!

which ended up being the only song sung in Swedish is a romantic and sentimental view of Northern lands as they collapse into ruin. This is a song that expresses loads of different emotional states, all charged with a huge melancholic feeling.
is another song where the whole folk elements, mainly the violin by
Martin Björklund make all the difference, carving in this way the deep mark of WORMWOOD strong Scandinavian identity and roots! Go deeper into the song and surround yourself of a heathen surrounding atmosphere of primordial splendour!

The Slow Drown" is a hopeless journey upon this ruined and condemned planet Earth. There are many meanings to "The End of the World", but in this case, it deals with the downfall of a demented old lady who lives alone and can't remember why the whole World around her is collapsing. This is probably the most "outsider" track of this "Arkivet" album. Be sure to experience an emotional journey across musical landscapes of sound, crossing fields of mid-tempo post rock, blackened heavy metal, among others. This is a slower and daring song that testify WORMWOOD own unpredictable sound definition, proving that they are a band always evolving and refusing to do the expected!

"The Gentle Touch of Humanity"
is the perfect apocalyptic ending track that concludes this epic piece! As Humanity ravishes this planet, we are sure to fall into ruin, witness the afterbirth of Man's downfall. This is a song with a very strong emotional charge and a deep melancholic feeling of hopelessness. We are Mother-Nature disease, we are the destroyers of all around us, Humanity aims only for profit above anything else. In the end and since we can't eat money, we shall only dig our own graves. Doomsday prophecies are upon us... this is our final chapter on this Earth!
This song is a huge environmentalist shout towards our conscience, the longest and natural ending track for this conceptual piece, it has a bit of everything from catchy "ear-sticking" melodies, chaotic anger and ravenous blast beats, some very direct rock sound with some blues influenced guitar solos and even a very emotional collage of news reports about severe nature warnings we stubbornly ignore and that culminate in our own World collapse! An interesting detail was the use of the SOS distress signal in Morse code on some drum beats!
Without a doubt this had to be also one of my favourite tracks of this amazing new WORMWOOD album, proving that the band musical horizons go way beyond any possible definition, something only possible once you have such amazingly talented musicians onboard!

is without a doubt WORMWOODs most daring and old-fashioned melodic black metal creation to the date. Amazingly this is only the third chapter of this Swedish sensation band most promising career! On this chapter, which is a conceptual piece the band got inspired by the current pandemics situation and describe the last days of Humanity on this dying world. Our incapability of sharing this planet with others shall be our own path to self-destruction, ultimately Nature shall take back what is hers and with it the natural balance shall be re-established. This post-apocalyptic journey shall take you deep into Mankind failures and faults that shall lead us to our ultimate End, all of this based on Mikael Strömberg book "Arkivet / The Archive" a testament to our presence on this Earth!
As a fan of previous WORMWOOD albums expect some significant changes, mostly concerning the album production. On this chapter the album detaches a quite allot from its predecessors, but don't fear, once it comes to the band identity and essence you still have it all there and easily you can say this is another great WORMWOOD melodic black metal album with a great folk, atmospheric and experimental touch.
has a strong bound with both of the previous albums and that bound is the massive importance that Nature has on our lives, easy to notice that this is a band with a high concern towards the environment and they express it though all their creations, each of them comes with a high conscience that whatever we give to Nature we will get back and in the end of all things She shall claim what is Hers!
Some may call WORMWOOD an environmentalist black metal band... I never liked labels so say what you will, I rather say that this is an amazing metal band from Sweden that doesn't stop impressing us, the listeners, release after release! All that matters is that "Arkivet" has all to become one of the best melodic black metal albums of 2021 year!

RüPä - NeKronos Promotion HELL

RATE: 9,5/10


"The Gentle Touch of Humanity" : Videoclip :

The Archive : Official Videoclip:



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