I was looking through some posts on No Clean Singing earlier when I came across a piece on Odem Arcarum, a progressive black outfit from Germany. The album art featured in the post caught my eye, as did the genre description: I'm almost always willing to lend an ear to anything that might push the genre envelope in some different dimensions.
The two songs that Odem Arcarum posted on their MySpace page don't disappoint, either. A total of about 18 minutes of music unfolds over the two tracks, combining pretty much all of the black metal textures you could think of: blast beats and tremolo picking, rhythms with odd and interesting accents, clean arpeggios echoing out of damp and dripping caves, mechanical-sounding voice effects favored by Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir, echoing whispers and enunciated screams. Odem Arcarum's selections don't seem to fall very far outside of the playbook for progressive black metal - it's clear, for example, that they really like Emperor - but I'm still drawn to what they're doing and want to hear more. It seems No Clean Singing had it right with the summation in their review: "...it’s easy to get lost in everything about this powerful album, and we highly recommend it."