De Arma are a duo from Sweden that has been featured before in this zine and on this recording moves away from the avant garde and ambient style of post black metal from their previous releases and goes for a mixture of melancholic metal, goth rock, shoegaze and post punk and this is a review of their 2021 album "Strayed in Shadows" which will be released in June by Trollmusic.
80's style synths start off the album before going into more of a heavier, melodic and melancholic direction. Elements of doom metal can also be heard in the slower sections of the songs while the vocals are done in a clean gothic rock style and the solos and leads also add in a great amount of melody.
Some of the beats are programmed while the music still has a good use of real drums along with some elements of post punk also being utilized at times. A great portion of the tracks are also very long and epic in length as well as some songs also adding in a good amount of clean playing.
Touches of shoegaze can also be heard in some parts of the recording along with one of the tracks also introducing female vocals into the music as well as some of the clean guitars also adding in some full chords, as the album progresses a brief use of spoken word parts can also be heard and on the closing track the music speeds up and adds in some black metal style tremolo picking and blast beats. The production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover melancholic themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from De Arma and while some black metal fans might not like the new direction, I can see this appealing to fans of gothic rock and melancholic metal. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Pain Of The Past" "Horror in the Dark" and "You Wher Blood". 8 out of 10.