Peoma Arcanis, "Iconoclast"
I admit to not knowing much about this band, but after hearing only a handful of songs, I can say with confidence that Poema Arcanus are not just doing what Moonspell does, they're doing it a hell of a lot better. Big, simple, gothic-metal songs full of heavy-ass riffs and topped off with a mix of baritone singing and death vocals make up the bulk of Iconoclast, and unlike most of Moonspell's recent work, they put more emphasis on "metal" than "gothic." The songs are heavily textured, full of synths, samples, and clean guitars, but each song is saved by the heavy bits, and for once, they're really heavy and not just over-distorted strumming passing for intensity [see: Amorphis]. It's all superbly mixed and recorded, and like the new one from Poema Arcanus' labelmates, Runemagick, the sound is huge. If these releases are any indication, someone at Aftermath knows a thing or two about the importance of a good production. If you're a fan of Moonspell, The Gathering or any of the more atmospherically-oriented metal bands, this will interest you greatly.Muxlow