Këkht Aräkh is a one-man black metal project from the Ukraine that, in just a few short years, has gained attention with a mixture of raw black metal and melancholic ambient and synth elements.

What starts out as well-written and performed black metal that clearly takes inspiration from Norway in the early 90s suddenly becomes another beast entirely. A gentle piano passage plays, and it’s beautiful. There’s a sorrow to it, but it feels strangely comforting. Before the listener realises what is happening, however, the track ends and we are thrust back amongst harsh guitars and blast beats.

In another track, a guitar is gently plucked while a synth bass line propels everything. It is, again, strangely comforting.

But the unique elements aren’t all relegated to interludes. The track that immediately follows it combines the raw black metal elements with more beautiful synth elements. It’s a genuinely unique combination, and the results are remarkable,

Këkht Aräkh succeeds where few would dare even attempt – raw black metal infused with uncharacteristic elements such as synth, some clean vocals, piano and gentle guitar passages. The final product is a melancholic, yet deeply beautiful, act of defiance against the invisible barriers that dictate genre.