Welcome to a journey into space itself in which its divinity is formed by progressive components and blackened chaos: Sear Bliss' The Arcane Odyssey. Externally mighty and internally filling, Hungary's metallic frontrunners once again apply their signature formula of conjoining elegance and evil; two separate worlds that flawlessly connect into one special entity of supreme distinction. A galactic quest in which Sear Bliss rewrites the rules of experimental metal is found within The Arcane Odyssey, and the trip is very exciting, believe me.
Though containing many common black metal qualities, The Arcane Odyssey shows the neat shape of Sear Bliss' own originality mixed in with several unusual endowments. As expected, Sear Bliss keeps their blackened roots intact with epic tremolo picking sections, firing blastbeats, and Andrαs Nagy's graceful shrieks, yet the use of beautiful clean guitars and majestic keyboards add to the already-mighty picture. But don't fear too much soft stuff, because there are some massive head-banging riffs and solos that just shred your eyeballs right out of their sockets! The harmony here between two separate musical extremes is reached in precise unison, and such a joyous tension is never broken from its state of wonder; this is how black metal and empyrean moods are supposed to wed.
During the voyage, Sear Bliss keeps the ride interesting with the band's hidden weapon that seems a bit odd at first, but ends out working excellently: the trombone. Zoltαn Pαl's strange position in Sear Bliss is not that of a clueless musician hitting symphonic notes, but rather an individual that can intelligently wrap the trombone around the harsh guitars and ethereal surroundings superbly. The thing is, however, that the trombone takes absolute control of Sear Bliss' music whenever the master permits its freedom: you'll be enjoying a cool riffing section, and then a blast of brass just explodes like no other instrument. It's truly a unique experience that needs to be heard to be believed.
Overall, I'd say The Arcane Odyssey is a fantastic CD with countless incidents of atypical independence and atmospheric delight. There really isn't anything potentially negative here at all; everything is solid as a rock, and the consistent display of cosmic instrumentation definitely make this record a capital idol in Sear Bliss' discography. Those looking for something outside the musical norm will most certainly appreciate The Arcane Odyssey and its metaphysical significance as a black metal recording unlike most of the genre itself.