ARMNATT - Eternal Flame - CS
Formed in days and times too clandestine to recall, ARMNATT quickly became a touchstone for Portugal's still-ascendant/descendent raw black metal scene. With their first split coming courtesy of the well-respected Black Gangrene in 2013 and then their debut album, Darkness Times, arriving a year later courtesy of the equally respected Altare, ARMNATT's cachet was confirmed. And for good reason: the misty-yet-hateful surge the trio conjure speaks of a deeply held (and authentically created) understanding of black metal's epochal second wave.
In 2020, ARMNATT made a blood pact with SIGNAL REX, which resulted in their second album, Dense Fog, and a long-overdue reissue of Darkness Times. Considering SIGNAL REX's position as Portugal's premier dispensary of dark & lawless goods, the alignment was fortuitous, to say the very least, and now results in another full-length assault on the meek and modest: Eternal Flame.
Ever aptly titled, Eternal Flame sees ARMNATT sticking to their guns - no progression, no development, no compromise, no way. If you weren't swayed by their spell of destruction the last time around, then nothing will change your mind with Eternal Flame. However, if you feel under their hypnosis and submitted to splendors too taboo to speak of, then Eternal Flame will stoke those same fires and just as potently. Just like its acclaimed predecessor, ARMNATT here resurrect the spectres of 1994, the glare of burning churches lighting the way to the pagan megalith. And just like that predecessor, Eternal Flame's familiarity is almost deceptive, as if in fact a lost relic unearthed from a Bergen bunker decades later; again, this literally searing simplicity of design can be replicated endlessly, but never faked.
Black metal never needed to develop because it was perfect early on. ARMNATT resist change and the ever-shifting sands of "good taste," and deliver to the faithful a new torch in which to burn down one's life: Eternal Flame.