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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States

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D'arcana biography
D'ARCANA are a psychedelic/space/folk trio from Nevada fronted by 15-year veteran multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jay Tausig (of E-MOTIVE, LUNAR SEA and SOLID SPACE). Tausig is accompanied by Shelby Snow on bass, percussion and backing vocals and by James Camblin on guitar and backing vocals. They have released one eponymous album in 2004.

Nicely textured, the music is at times cozy, especially when the acoustic instruments take over; at other times, it is quite spacey in an old 60's psychedelic fashion but with a strong contemporary feel. The drums, very much VDGG-like, are played with conviction and the guitar work is eclectic, alternating between folk, fusion, rock and even melodic neo-prog. As for Tausig's vocals, they are emotional and introspective, something of a cross between Greg LAKE and Peter HAMMILL (especially the latter). Not overly complex material overall but fresh and stimulating, flowing nicely between spacey textures and calm, melancholic moments of great depth.

Recommended if you like Tausig's work with E-MOTIVE, or to anyone into smooth, easy-listening psychedelia.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Buy D'ARCANA Music

As Worlds They Rise & Fall by D'Arcana (2005-08-23)As Worlds They Rise & Fall by D'Arcana (2005-08-23)
CD Baby
Audio CD$51.51
As Worlds They Rise & by D'Arcana (2005-08-02)As Worlds They Rise & by D'Arcana (2005-08-02)
Audio CD$19.49
Darcana by CD Baby (2004-01-01)Darcana by CD Baby (2004-01-01)
CD Baby (2004-01-01)
Audio CD$46.33
$31.01 (used)
Lemuria Music 2007
Audio CD$19.98
$17.99 (used)
As Worlds They Rise & Fall [Explicit]As Worlds They Rise & Fall [Explicit]
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$5.99
$2.96 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

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D'ARCANA discography

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D'ARCANA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 4 ratings
3.00 | 2 ratings
As Worlds They Rise & Fall
3.56 | 9 ratings

D'ARCANA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

D'ARCANA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

D'ARCANA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

D'ARCANA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

D'ARCANA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 D'Arcana by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.04 | 4 ratings

D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US Progressive Rock band from Nevada City, California, formed in 2003 and led by prog veteran and ex-E Motive's member Jay Tausig on vocals and various instruments.He collaborates with bassist/singer Shelby Snow and multi-instrumentalist James Cambling for this project and the first self-titled debut of the trio was privately released in 2004 through CDBaby.

On this album Tausig & Co. chose to deliver smooth, intense and strongly lyrical Progressive Rock, instead of showing any kind of technical ability or dealing with complicated orchestrations.The sound recalls the softer moments of GENESIS or GENTLE GIANT but there are also more energetic moments in the vein of bands TILES, RUSH or ENCHANT.The album is equally split between richer tracks with a bit of a symphonic sound, more apparent use of keys and interesting rhythm parts and a softer, more lyrical approach with light multi-vocal arrangements and mellow acoustic guitars.The later contain strong psychedelic vibes at times with a very dreamy atmosphere and even some pianos and discreet flutes added for a more flexible sound.Tausig's voice is a suprise, being an expressive yet warm vocalist, who delivers the lyrics with comfort.When needed though, D'arcana become more powerful with longer instrumental themes, based on complex synths parts and electric guitars on the move as well as a touch of Fusion in the more dynamic interplays, blended well among the Classic Prog stylings of these compositions.

Interesting and quasi personal debut by D'arcana, who's main focus seems to become the alternation between different moods and genres.Warmly recommended.

 Premonitions by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.56 | 9 ratings

D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the most recent release (2007) from Nevada's D'ARCANA.This trio play a laid back, spacey brand of psychedelia with some heavier sections here and there.They've opened for both RUSH and ZZ TOP locally and apparently have had a fair amount of radio airplay down there as well. I love the cover art which was done by Ed Unitsky who's also done the same for PORCUPINE TREE, THE FLOWER KINGS and THE TANGENT among others.This is a double album by the way.

"Premonitions (Part 1)" kicks in quickly with vocals and I like the bass work too. Synths after 2 minutes. A calm before 5 minutes then the guitar starts to solo. Nice. Another calm after 6 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in. I like the guitar. It's mellow again to end it. "Chameleons" is more uptempo with vocals. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. "Code Of Silence" has some fairly heavy guitar with vocals. The next three songs are excellent. "We Are Not Alone" is a cool tune I especially like the drum and bass work. A relaxed guitar solo 2 minutes in.This is probably my favourite track. "Crime Of The Century" is great with the bass, guitar and vocals standing out. "Turquoise Blue" is psychedelic reminding me of FLOYD. Some flute too, I just wish the song was longer. "World Of Shadow" picks up a minute in as vocals join in. "Tremors" rocks pretty good at times. "Vapor" is laid back but it does pick up. "Through The Fire" is kind of catchy and I like the guitar solo late. "Wheel Of Life" is laid back and there is some piano.The focus is on the vocals. It's an okay song.

Disc two begins with "Gnome Matter Chapter 25" which is a short atmospheric tune. "Rain" has a beat with vocal melodies before the vocals take over.Tasteful guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. A mellow tune. "Desert Song" has some psychedelic guitar and spacey sounds as vocals join in. "Trisevenine" has these intricate sounds that come and go. "Smoke And Mirrors" puts the focus on the vocals and backing vocals. "Touch And Go" is laid back with guitar and vocals with a beat. Some violin too in this one. "Children Of The Universe" is atmospheric and almost mournful. "Premonitions (Part 2)" is the 31 1/2 minute closer.There are these mellow sections that come and go and we get strings before 4 1/2 minutes. Some passion 12 minutes in then it settles down with violin 15 1/2 minutes in. It builds some 18 minutes in. Nice bass 21 1/2 minutes in. It's heavier 25 minutes in then the piano takes over followed by tasteful guitar and violin before it turns spacey. Vocals are back before 28 minutes as it ends in a relaxed way.

If I could pick my favourite tracks and make one cd I could offer up 4 stars, but this double album has too many average momnets like most doubles do.This is better than their previous album though. Well done ! 3.5 stars.

 As Worlds They Rise & Fall by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 2 ratings

As Worlds They Rise & Fall
D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An interesting album from this American trio.The vocals are like a cross between Phideaux and the singer from TORMAN MAXT.The sound quality could be a lot better. Lots to like here but during this 66 minutes there is a lot of average material as well.

"Sunrise" has the focus on the vocals while the drums pound. It's kind of noisy but that could be the sound quality. It sounds much better when it settles down. It kicks back in around 4 minutes. "Lilith" features some noisy guitar with the bass and drums upfront as well. "Earthbound" opens with a gong then the music kicks in. It sounds like mellotron here while the vocals and drums lead the way. "Awakening" has some different vocal arrangements early. "Vertigo" hits the ground running with vocals. Abrasive guitar too especially a minute in.It does settle in before 1 1/2 minutes with the guitar outfront. Nice bass lines to follow. Ripping guitar follows then we get a calm late with mellotron-like sounds. "Casting Shadows" features strummed guitar as vocals join in around a minute. A cool track reminding me of FLOYD. "Adrift" is a dreamy piece of music with vocals. "Shimmer" has these theatrical vocals bringing Hammill to mind. Acoustic guitar and a GENESIS flavour a minute in. Back to those vocals again as contrasts continue.

"Waive The Sales" is good as the guitar starts to solo quickly with background synths. I like it. It gets crazy late. "By This River" is mellow with vocals reminding me of USE OF ASHES. "Wrong Number (For All)" opens with spoken words then vocals in this laid back number. Sax in this one too. "Balance" is vocal and strummed guitar led. Some pedal steel guitar in this one too. "As Worlds They Rise And Fall" is the 23 1/2 minute closer.This one is a tough one to digest for me. I just don't think it's very well done and there are little in the way of highlights. A disappointing ending really to this album.

As I said to open there are some really good songs here but i'm let down a lot as well throughout this album.

 Premonitions by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.56 | 9 ratings

D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by usa prog music

4 stars I have much disdain for the moniker they've selected, and for a Progressive Rock band in particular, I don't like it one iota. So much, that when asked several times to check it out, I pushed back. My guess was that it was avant-garde from some remote overseas region and you know what? I don't often do countermelody. I figured it would be a providence that I came across in French class; something like the isle of Martinique. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I wouldn't mind a visit to test my linguistics, but when was the last time we got a band like Kansas or The Tangent from a place like Gilligan's Island or Gill's Rock.

Conversely, when told that this band drew Ed Unitsky's attention, I said "Okay, I'll give it a shot." What I found was that my dislikes started and ended with the name, as the music was instantly and consistently sublime. This is good, because it covers two whole discs. Not to mention, I was committed to this article and if it were bad, it would have been an insane sentence.

Fortunate for me, this obligation and task did not become a dilemma. It was a snap finding pleasant observations to share in both the design of the graphics as well as the composition of the rhythms.

In terms of the image that Unitsky affixed to the jewel case, it bares human statues on various-size stones. There are gullies, ponds, bluffs, seas, and trees in this land; making it as scenic as New Zealand. If the title was censured and I only had the picture to go on, I would have felt this release was associated with Guy Manning or Andy Tillison. What I found after perusing the credits was that I'm not at all familiar with any of the people employed on this album.

In this outfit, we have Jay Tausig providing acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, and drums. Shelby Snow has a sense for the bass plus true sagacity and prudence for percussion. James Camblin has the fewest chores, but he's continuously busy and active with the lead guitar. Despite what I initially thought, there is singing and it's alright. While Tausig leads the verbal charge, the other two participate with viable voices of their own. Michael Snow is the only guest artist, and he squeezes his violin into the mix in more than a couple crucial places.

As for the cuts, they contain copious amounts of tropical pleasure. When listening, I can feel the sweltering humidity, leaves and rain. It's quite a stifling experience to stroll through their progressively-profuse foliage. As for an early spoiler, they utilize the sounds of the wild in their enigmatic introduction. Once it gets going, it's all rock from there on out, whether it be modern or neo, or classic tones in the present past-tense.

My favorites include "Premonitions: Part One". As the usher to this ceremonious affair, it's not long before they've got me in the door. Subsequently, the guitars in "Chameleons" are creepy, but also virtuous in the chorus.

In its structures, progressions, and harmonies, "Crime of the Century" hints to RPWL and The Beatles. On a similar note, "Turquoise Blue" incorporates Pink Floyd and the Beach Boys.

"World of Shadow" is a song that's blissful. What good would an album be without the doting state that could only come from a ballad? On the other hand, the interlude in the middle is too harsh to induce the nap that's instituted in the bleary beginning.

"Wheel of Life" is not quite Karmakanic, but it calibrates and yanks your karma anyway. It's significant since it completes the first disc whereas the shortest ditty, "Gnome Matters", is different in an eerie sense even after it sprightly opens the second.

The mist sprayed from this icebreaker is not as freakish as the fog from "Chameleons", but you get my gist anyway if you realize my point has nothing to do with vapor.

"Desert Song" has a similar speech-pattern with The Tangent's maestro and director.

"Smoke and Mirrors" is an unusual faction of the Blue Öyster Cult.

Much later, "Touch and Go" is extraordinarily amiable and trendy. In between, however, there is plenty of fluff.

Since my discs were scratchier than a sore throat and skippier than a popular brand of peanut butter, I couldn't make out most of the epic, "Premonitions: Part Two". A number of random passages elsewhere were unclear, too. I assume these parts were just as sunny as the rest of the material. From what I could tell, the entire album was naturally warm.

In general, I enjoyed what I heard and seemed to like the tidier tunes on disc one better. So the unexpected nicks and cuts on the scores didn't really matter in the long-run.

While the album is diverse, most songs are lithe and dreamy. In the impenetrable paths I've singled out, the musicians pour it on, and when it comes to my tastes, I prefer the wall of sound. That's why the halves of the title track earn a greater amount of interest - appreciation and respect - from me.

The group is very much like Yes, especially in the bass and the singing. The keyboards bring Clive Nolan to mind, and in a way, D'arcana is similar to that never-referenced but excellent anomaly and glitch called Longshot.

Overall, the production is casual, but the talent is in there. In the future, it would be wise to focus their efforts on tweaks to the recording and not on the expansion of tracks. I'm sure most fans would prioritize quality over quantity if it were a choice - even to those like me who prefer epics.

In this case, a tighter single disc would be preferred over more material. Regardless, this cream puff has a lot of rich filling, and it doesn't really matter if you use a fork, a spoon, or a spork as your cutlery of choice on the chunks and niblets at this fair.

By the way, the band is not from France, but Nevada City, California, and to the best of my knowledge, the term has something to do with a deck of cards, a comic book or a role- playing game. Curiously, there is a city in Ohio that also shares the designation. Furthermore, there is a fictional character, a mechanized medical doctor and a genius, with this particular call-sign. He's from the planet Nebulous, so I doubt this robot is related.

What's ironic is that the D'arcana doesn't show up in Wikipedia, so the name is as unique as their music. For this reason, it's fitting? And I now adore that too!

 Premonitions by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.56 | 9 ratings

D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by foxtroutman

5 stars This album, Premonitions, is absolutely the finest piece of innovative music to hit the airwaves in years. It is an outstanding creation, with complex, insane compositions, inspired lyrics, and unforgettable melodies.

Title 6 on the second CD, "Touch and Go" is an epic piece of music that has a timeless quality unequalled by anyone in the prog industry. It's beautiful music today, and will be just as beautiful twenty years from now.

 Premonitions by D'ARCANA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.56 | 9 ratings

D'arcana Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by manticornio

3 stars Probably (and let me emphasize), probably "Premonitions" is an album over valued. It is not a bad album, but it doesn't seem to me it's the best thing that has been done this year. I listen this musical ideas dependent on the classic ones, limiting his sound to familiar adequacies, adapted to be enjoyed, but nothing more.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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