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Arcane - Chronicles Of The Waking Dream CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.20 | 146 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Part of the burgeoning prog scene in Australia, Arcane stamped themselves as one of the country's premier acts with 2009's "Chronicles of the Waking Dream".

This is a concept album with a narrative that is more implied than outwardly stated. As such there's a wonderful element of mystery to what's taking place. The ideas are carried by the music in the form of moods and emotions as much as by the lyrics and the snippets of spoken word that appear throughout the album.

Production is also amazingly good. Right from the opening track where ominous drums pound across the frantic narration of the album's protagonist, it's evident that a lot of care has gone into crafting this soundscape. For the next hour there is barely a moment of silence as one track blends seamlessly into the next. This is definitely one of those albums best devoured in one sitting.

There's some fine musicianship involved from all members of the band, with stellar vocals from Jim Grey and the guitar of Michael Gagen a standout for me. Gagen's tone on this album is absolutely killer, and he handles the differing styles of pensive melodies, metal riffing and shredding solos with great aptitude.

Aside from the atmospherics and some great melodies, there's plenty of time signature shifts throughout the album to keep things interesting. The impressive thing is that these don't feel forced at all. In most cases there's a very natural flow, all the while maintaining that feeling that you never know which direction the song is going to take next.

Arcane are now working on the follow up to "Waking Dream" with an ambitious double album. Now normally double albums make me nervous. Bands who attempt them often have the best intentions, but inadequate inspiration to pull off such an undertaking. Let's face it, it's hard enough to make one quality album, let alone two at once. But with Arcane, I have no doubts that they'll do it, so much so that I happily chipped in for their kickstarter a couple of months ago. It's very much a case of "watch this space" and I'm sure great things are in store.

bonestorm | 5/5 |


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