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Arcane - Ashes CD (album) cover

ASHES

Arcane

 

Heavy Prog

3.24 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Ashes" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian, Brisbane based progressive metal act Arcane. The album, which was originally intended to be released as an EP and only to feature the 24:15 minute long "Ashes" title track, was released through OzProg Music in February 2007. Now with 4 additional tracks and a playing time of 55:57 minutes.

The band play a very intricate form of progressive metal with interesting song structures, a generally dark and melancholic atmosphere and of course impeccable and at times virtuosic musicianship. The latter is more or less a trademark of the genre, so itīs not so surprising. Lead vocalist Jim Grey has a rather distinct sounding voice and it took me a while to learn to appreciate, but he sure is very skilled and after I have gotten used to his voice, I canīt imagine Arcaneīs music without it. At times he reminds me of Jan-Henrik Ohme from the Norwegian act Gazpacho. Thereīs lots of passion and also bite in his performance. I like the fact that he is able to deliver both soft styled vocals and more raw almost aggressive vocals too. Weīre not talking extreme metal vocals here though, just a commanding, powerful and passionte clean vocal style.

As such Arcane donīt bring much new to the table if you are well versed in progressive metal neither when talking instrumentation nor songwriting, but they deliver high quality material and itīs obvious that these guys are very talented and Iīm sure they will release even more unique sounding material in the future. With a strong and unique sounding vocalist like Jim Grey thereīs certainly a possibility that it might happen. Much great music begins with a quality vocalist and bearing that in mind Arcane are very fortunate to have Jim Grey.

There are many positive things to say about "Ashes" and overall I really enjoy the album, but unfortunately thereīs one thing holding the album back from being really great. The sound production isnīt very powerful or well sounding and while I can live with that because the music is as convincing and well excecuted as it is, itīs still an issue that drags my rating down a bit. The sound is pretty powerless and some of the instruments (mainly the keyboards) sound detached from the rest of the instruments in the soundscape. So a 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted. With a better sound production "Ashes" would have been a sure 4 star (80%) rating.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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