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Exclusive Premiere: Chilean Doom Metallers Poema Arcanvs Release Despondent New Song ‘Pilgrim’

The veteran band are releasing ‘Stardust Solitude,’ their first album in eight years, via Mumbai-based Transcending Obscurity

Anurag Tagat Jul 28, 2020

Chilean doom metal band Poema Arcanvs. Photo: Courtesy of Transcending Obscurity

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In the slow-and-low style of doom metal, building an atmosphere is everything. For more than two decades (and since 1992 under the moniker Garbage), Santiago, Chile-based band Poema Arcanvs has been doing exactly that in all their material.

In the case of their sixth full-length album Stardust Solitude (out August 28th via Transcending Obscurity), co-founder and vocalist Claudio Carrasco Garcia tells us they were without a keyboardist at the last minute. “The space left had to be somehow occupied by the other instruments, most prominently the bass guitar and also some guitar effects in order not to lose too much of the atmosphere keyboards used to bring,” he says. Their first album since 2012’s Transient Chronicles, Garcia says the road to completing and releasing Stardust Solitude has been “very long and troubled, as it seems to be the case every time with us.”

Owing to a lineup change that eventually brought in bassist Juan Diaz, a lot of songwriting and arrangement was reworked and came with “technical challenges” like having just one guitarist. “We also had to deal with rescheduling of the release date due to the pandemic situation. [But] in the last weeks we have received only excellent reviews from worldwide media and the presale is going on very well,” Garcia adds.

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Ahead of the full release of the album, there’s a despairing, suitably heavy new single called “Pilgrim” up for streaming below. Co-founder and guitarist Igor Leiva Benavides points out how, thematically, the song arrives at a point when the record’s protagonist “realizes that the answers he looks for are nowhere to be found.” Over trudging, twisted doom that recalls the likes of U.K. doom pioneers Paradise Lost, “Pilgrim” tells the tale of a wanderer who is down but not wiped out. Benavides says, “There are also some traces of peacefulness when he walks away from the noise of society into the quiet wilderness.”

With Stardust Solitude out next month after a long journey, Poema Arcanvs are well aware that the road ahead remains tougher, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing them to cancel their upcoming European tour. Prevented from jamming together in the last four months, Benavides calls rehearsing the “lifeblood of the band.” He adds, “I guess you need to experience things in life to get the creative juices flowing.”

Listen to “Pilgrim” below. Pre-order ‘Stardust Solitude’ here.

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