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Arkham - Arkham CD (album) cover





3.18 | 28 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It's really too bad that this band never put out a studio or live album back in the day. What we have here are songs that were recorded live from concerts or rehearsals between 1970-1972. I say it's too bad because the sound quality is a lot like some of the bootlegs i've heard. Not very good at all. Fortunately some songs are better than others and at least we can appreciate how talented this band was. There is a real Canterbury flavour to thier music which isn't surprising considering SOFT MACHINE was their biggest influence.The band originally consisted of Daniel Denis on drums, he would go on to form UNIVERS ZERO with Claude Deron who coincidently was also part of ARKHAM(later on) playing electric flugelhorn. Deron is featured on the last 2 tracks.Jean-Luc Manderlier played piano and organ and would later join MAGMA and play on the MDK record. Daniel Denis would join MAGMA at the same time as Jean-Luc but only play a few concerts before leaving. The bass player was Claude Berkovitch who would leave and be replaced by Patrick Cogneaux who would go on to play for a great band called PAZOP. ARKHAM opend for MAGMA the very first time they played in Belgium in 1971. Obviously Vander was impressed. I want to touch on the 3 tracks that sound ok and also impressed me a lot.

"Monolithic Progression With Anticipated Rupture" opens with piano playing solo as bass and drums start to make some noise 1 1/2 minutes in. This is such a cool melody. A fuller sound 3 1/2 minutes in as the organ comes in and steals the show. Strange effects 5 1/2 minutes in as melody has stopped and then different sounds come and go. Piano and then a melody 7 1/2 minutes in. Amazing tune. "Eve's Eventful Day(Part 3)" has this uptempo intro that calms down to piano only rather quickly. A fuller sound 1 1/2 minutes in as drums enter. I love the melody 3 1/2 minutes in of dark and melancholical organ, bass and drums. Nice.

"Tight Trousers" is one of the classic Canterbury titles. It opens with organ sounds and some flugelhorn before we start to get this great melody before a minute.The organ and bass play is outstanding 2 minutes in and the drums are all over the place. Flugelhorn comes and goes. Piano 4 minutes in.

For me this more of a historical document that I do value. There are certainly more songs than the three I mentioned that are worthy of conversation.To be honest though, you need to know that the sound quality is poor at times.The music would be 4 stars easy, but considering the sound of it 3 stars is fair.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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