After completing nine years of occult study and seclusion, ARTS has manifested "Graveside Summoning," containing four malevolent spells that seal the listener in a labyrinth of insanity. These compositions unleash a full-frontal assault of venomous vocals with riffs encircled in sepulchral fog to swallow you in a black abyss. .:AA:. returns from the shadows to stake his claim as the magus of aural chants, while .:MM:. conjures symphonic angels to poison your mind with confusion and doubt so that you may never rest again. In the dark years since the release of their monumental album, "Vault of Heaven," ARTS has maintained their throttling style while developing a heightened sense of enchantment that has been painstakingly crafted within their furtive denomination to achieve maximum poisonous effect.
Our take: Graveside Summoning is the latest EP from Mark McCoy’s long-running black metal project, Arts. I’m not sure if I’ve ever checked out Arts before, but I like these four tracks. While several bands on the Youth Attack label dabble with different recipes with hardcore and black metal as ingredients, Arts’ scales tip way toward the metal side. The howling vocals, tinny recording, and melodic, single-string lead guitar melodies are pages torn straight from the Darkthrone playbook. However, I hear a distinct hardcore element coming through Graveside Summoning, particularly in the big, dramatic chord changes that punctuate every track. While a lot of black metal is blurry and stretched out, pulling the listener’s attention away from small details and toward a song’s (or a record’s) holistic atmosphere, Arts peppers their songs with moments that remind me of Youth of Today’s finger-pointing climaxes. I’m not sure what the truly kvlt would think about this, but if you’re down with the bm vibes sprinkled throughout Youth Attack’s catalog, odds are you’ll enjoy Graveside Summoning.