Arkenstone - Dead Human Resource
Thrash Metal
10 songs (55:24)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Pete

Arkentsone has been around since the late nineties, however, coming from the sunny island of Crete that's where they've more or less stayed. They released their first demo, Whispers Of Fire, in 2001 and The Sentinal Of The Dwarven Gate in 2003. By 2005 the band had started to move away from their original heavy/power metal style into more of a thrash band with power metal inflections. This can be heard on the Embraced By Guilt E.P and, with the addition of vocal screamer, Endal, their move to thrash metal has been cemented especially with their new album for Casket Music, Dead Human Resource.

This album has been a long time in the making with work starting on it in late 2006. The album was duly recorded but the problem with albums being in the 'can' several years prior to being released is that the band tends to grow both in talent and experience whereas the recording remains constant. The Arkenstone heard on this disk may not be the Arkenstone of 2009, but this may not be a band thing because there's something here, deep down the band certainly have it, whatever 'it' is.

Dead Human Resource, for all the press release bunk about them being modern thrash, comes across more as a retro thrash album than something cutting edge. But with retro thrash being in favour with the metal scene at the moment perhaps the band have timed the release of this disc just about right. Even the album's cover is in the style of those eighties thrash bands. It's a wonderful picture of a man, who's obviously the victim of some macabre experimentation, with tubes of blood running from his head and wrists. It screams METAL and quite right too.

Musically speaking this album is worth checking out if you're a fan of such bands as Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste. They don't have the sharp and catchy riffage of the likes of Evile, Savage Messiah or SkeletonWitch but there's something likeable about Dead Human Resource. Opener, Fall, and it's follower, Psychopath's Salvation are fast and aggressive with the band utilising all aspects of their vocal armoury. Both songs contain the growl, the monotone shout and clean hooks, which, could class them as 'modern' but the heart of this album is in the eighties. I say this because classic thrash always had that edge of melody running through it and Arkenstone have tapped into this. I feel the band's power metal roots are probably the likely cause for this. It is also the reason why Dead Human Resource is very listenable and easy to come back to. It's not just the same song written ten times even though the monotone shouting does get a little tiresome at times.

As good as this album is it doesn't have the songs when compared to other bands within the same genre. What it does have is some good moments, Majestic Tales Untold and the title track for example along with some excellent guitar breaks. It is also a solid platform for the band to consolidate their style and ideas for future releases. As long as they keep their production crisp and balanced and the shouting less one dimensional then Arkenstone could find their name being uttered around the globe.

Killing Songs :
Majestic Tales Untold, Fall, Psychopath's Salvation
Pete quoted 74 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:45 am
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