I don’t know much about Calgary’s Arbitrator outside of the fact that they refer to themselves (or at least have been referred to) as “industrial death metal” and have existed in various line-up permutations over the course of four years of existence. They’ve existed as everything from full-on quartet to duo status to one-man on a downtown street corner popping slick blasts on plastic buckets for spare change (OK, I totally made that last part up). The mastermind/focal point has always been guitarist/vocalist/programmer (and I’m presuming sometimes bassist) Rob Kukla. As I’ve been informed, at the moment the band stands as a quartet, but Kukla opened up the purse strings and employed the services of drummer Dirk [Anatomy of I/Bent Sea/Phaze I/Scarve/The Project Hate MCMXCIX/Vetur/ex-Anaon/ex-Eostenem/ex-Nuclear Blast Allstars/ex-Aborted/ex-Colosso/ex-Devin Townsend Project/ex-Headline/ex-Lyzanxia/ex-Mortuary/ex-Phazm/ex-Powermad/ex-Solium Fatalis/ex-Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition/ex-Satyricon (live)/ex-Artsonic/ex-Yyrkoon (live)/ex-Warrel Dane/ex-One-Way Mirror] Verbeuren in order to record debut full-length, Indoctrination of Sacrilege.
Fuck, I know there’s a lot of money being made up in the oil patch and the rape-of-the-land tar sands and that generally, Alberta (and Calgary specifically) is a relatively wealthy place, but this sort of thing can’t be cheap for anyone. Not only is Verbeuren involved, but Kukla also managed to scrounge up a few pennies to draft in Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy) for mastering duties along with album artwork done by Colin Marks (Exodus, Scar Symmetry, Jeff Loomis). But having Verbeuren behind the throne is what Arbitrator has been pushing. When they debuted a track from Indoctrination of Sacrilege a few weeks ago entitled “For That Which May Appease Lions,” the accompanying video didn’t consist of live footage, wasn’t a promo video, or not even a bunch rehearsal room/studio slapdashery. Nope, it was Verbeuren doing a play through of the song on an e-kit using the EZ Drummer2 software, which I’ve included below. Hell, Kukla himself wasn’t even anywhere to be seen! While Dirk did play on the second track to be publicly showcased in advance of the album’s release, “They Will Worship This Fire of Agony,” there have yet to be any playthrough vids of Verbeuren, or of programmer Connor Linning for that matter, but we did wrangle a quote out of Kukla:
“Those that hunger for massive, anthemic-like death metal of the blasphemous variety will be pleased to find indulgence within ‘They Will Worship this Fire of Agony’. Grand orchestras compliment an onslaught of pummelling rhythms with distorted guitars, and unearthly vocals chime in the grand apocalypse in this electronically infused opus. This was the obvious album-opener choice, as I felt it gave listeners a well-balanced introduction into the Arbitrator sound.’
Check it out. Contact info at the bottom.