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Area - Arbeit Macht Frei CD (album) cover

ARBEIT MACHT FREI

Area

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.30 | 413 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Thanks again, ProgArchives, for this unique and exciting addition to my collection! There's absolutely no way I would have found this album on my own, and it would have been much to my collection's detriment. Area have put together one of those albums that features a sound you won't find anywhere else, similar to what Harmonium and Symphony X have accomplished at least on one occasion (at least in my opinion), to name a few. Of course, the influences are vastly different for Area than these other bands, which include for me plenty of Gentle Giant, some Van der Graaf Generator, and just a hint of some fusion stalwarts (though not a lot, considering they are in the same genre).

These guys really sample from too many genres to be pigeonholed into any one of them, including rock, jazz, fusion, and some psychadelia. The net result is an ever changing, fascinating beast that will keep your ears at attention for the 36 minute duration. Nero is a great opener, which really kicks up the tempo (including plenty of tempo changes), different instrumental/vocal combinations, and even throwing some key changes on top at the end. This segues nicely into the highlight of the album for me, the title track. Arbeit begins with some spacey noodling, which leads into some nice jazz interplay, and then finally the funky primary melody for the tune. This is also a great example of the band's tendency for one or two members to catch a new groove, and then for the other members to pick it up later for great effect. I love these kinds of transitions, and they are difficult enough to pull off that many bands either aren't creative or capable enough to attempt them.

The rest of the songs similarly distinguish themselves, from the impassioned vocals on the heavy parts of Consapevolezza (with awesome heavy/light contrasts throughout), to the freaky conclusion to Le Labbra, to the extended guitar/sax jam on 240 Chilometri, to the fuzzy guitar/distorted keys interplay on the closer. You just get the sense that each member has complete control over his instrument (or voice) at all times, and are constantly pushing each other.

Each time I put this one on, I have a new appreciation for at least one of the sections, and if I get bored with one, Area will quickly move into something that does interest you. An essential addition for anyone who thinks they have a diverse collection: this will likely add a new dimension.

Flucktrot | 5/5 |

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