In their previous release Strayed In Shadows, De Arma touches on the hesitation for a future without change while feeling lost in yourself. Now, the Swedish duo come back with another melancholic offering – ‘After Dark, You’re There’. Before we delve into that superb symphony, let’s take a brief look at who De Arma actually is.
Formed in 2009 by Andreas Pettersson (vocals, guitar and bass) and Johan Marklund (drums), De Arma could have been labelled a metal band with their black metal influences shining through. Yet, they dazzled everyone by creating a significantly eclectic sound melding metal with gothic rock, pop and synth-wave – I told you it was eclectic. Stuffed in a package of melancholic music, De Arma’s music is intimate, introspective and tender. Featured on Music Arena GN, Last FM, The Punk Head and At The Barrier, it seems I am not the only one singing their praises.
Brief introduction over, let’s get into their track ‘After Dark, You’re There’.
Released as part of their three-track EP Nightcall, ‘After Dark, You’re There’ draws together elements of synth-pop, post-punk and gothic rock. Opening with a soft synth, the group quickly burrow themselves into your cranium before tossing in heavier sounds. Overtaking your brain, the lads enchant listeners with the song’s soft tones. Yet, while there appears to be a smooth, laidback underlying tone, there are hard-hitting sensibilities in a layer of rock.
Far from the initial black metal roots, ‘After Dark, You’re There’ has a more melodic and harmonic arrangement. True, it may not be wistful when we look at the theme, but the melody has a hazy whimsical nature. Carrying you along this sonic river, De Arma navigates the melancholic soundscape pulling you along with the emotion of the music. Oddly enough, while you continue to glide on the glistening sonic river, De Arma fluctuates in its sound showing you tumultuous waves beneath the soft surface – a “constant fluctuation” as described by Pettersson.
A nine-minute-long song, one might consider it too lengthy but trust me, it’s worth the time. In fact, you hardly notice the time passing with the calming but melancholic effect. Pettersson explains that ‘After Dark, You’re There’ has “…a kind of ravaged feeling, despite being rather dreamy and soothing…” It is this contrast of styles, feelings and sounds that makes De Arma truly unique.