The one-man project Kanto Arboretum was, according to the accompanying note, born from a musician wanting to relieve his eco-anxiety to a more poetic form. The themes and lyrics take a stance for example on the ideology of economic growth, climate change, and humans' incapability to take responsibility for their own and the animals' environments. So, it's not the most usual theme when talking about black metal, but at least I think it's good that people dare to use black metal for many kinds of messages. When talking about this band, it might be more approperiate to talk about black metal-influenced eco-metal.

Well what does this eco-metal sound like then? Well, it doesn't sound bad at all. Most of it is black metal with a melodic drive and clear sounds. After listening to the album for a while I noticed that the guitar playing isn't bad at all, because the riffs are splendid in almost all the songs. There's even so-called hooks in them. I don't feel like bringin out any of the songs as an outstandingly good one from the bunch, because all of them seem to have very thought-out structures. Despite this being so, the song structures are fairly straightforward and their flow is uncluttered, so progressive gimmicks and fooling around with the instruments isn't heard here.

I can't say if the drums are programmed or not, although they sound a hint mechanical. Anyway, the drumming is mostly mid-paced and melodic. There's no blastbeats, except in the last song as a nice surprise. About the vocals: the basic squawking sounds okay and articulation seems to be good as well, but their overall volume has been mixed too low. My opinion is that in this type of eco-proclaiming music the vocals should be discernable and loud enough. This situation is saved by the booklet holding all the songs' lyrics.

One more thing about the overall sound. I said earlier that the sound is clear, but could it have been given a more perilous feel? A big plus must be given for the grand digipack-cover, which looks really good!

8 / 10