Garth Arum
The Fireflowers Tale

Label: Darkness Within/Darkwoods
Three similar bands:
As Light Dies/The Firstborn/Smohalla
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Inner secret garden
2. Flowers of fire
3. Now
4. Finally in the abyss
5. The gods are beholding you

NHT - vocals, guitars, bass, synths and drums

The Dawn of a New Creation (2013)

Lady Carrot is in charge of the female choirs in Inner Secret Garden

Recorded during winter 2019-2020 in Kadath Sound.
Mixed and mastered in early 2020 in Kadath Sound.
Artwork and design by Phlegeton Vortex.

Released 2020-08-24
Reviewed 2020-09-10


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The music of Garth Arum is inspired by dreams and can be described as a journey within, this according to the press material. “The place where is located our own inner-secret-garden, which lays forgotten. In this place is where the fireflowers grow, handled by demiurges. Fireflowers are the source of creation. It depends who use them it would have different results. A standard person would just change of dimension, but the most powerful being would create a new universe.” That is what I read when I research this second release by Garth Arum, we did review the first one in 2013 and was positive towards that one – this certainly looks better just by looking at the cover.

The album was first conceived as a demo back in 1997 but nothing came of it, then in 2007 it was recorded but wasn’t released that time either. It took until last year and the beginning of this year for NHT, the sole member, to record it again and put it out, I wonder if it really was necessary to put it on record. It is similar in style to the previous release, the dreamy atmosphere, the black metal with some growly vocals and some cleaner vocals. It is a bit esoteric and diffuse, in a way it is like a dreamlike world that is painted on this album. But the drama seems a little distant and never really near and, in the end, I am grateful that the playing time isn’t longer – that would not have been fun.

There are things to like here, the atmosphere, this dreamlike world that is painted and the diffuse emotions. The things I don’t like this that the album doesn’t seem to be heading anywhere, it is just diffuse and vague, it feels without direction – I didn’t have the same feel when listening to the previous effort, it felt like it was getting somewhere. I think the previous effort was better than this one, it had more depth and more emotional resonance than this album can give. This doesn’t have that many upsides, it is an album that isn’t really getting anywhere, maybe that comes with being in the fireflower jungles, or maybe it is just a lack of idea as to where this album is heading.

In the end it isn’t too bad, just not very exciting and looking back on the previous album it is difficult to endorse this one as it isn’t on the same level. Perhaps he falls into the pitfall of the one-man bands that the ideas are never questioned or criticised, sometimes that is necessary to get the best out of the musical ideas. In the end I think this album lacks the ability to really catch my attention and keep me really listening, the mind tends to wander to other things like what to get for lunch and why the battery in the insanely expensive macbook has to be changed about the same time as my old matchbook that was bought over five years earlier. When such thoughts are louder and more attention grabbing than the music itself it is not a stretch to conclude that there is something missing from Garth Arum’s latest effort. It isn’t an album that makes an impression.