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Ars Nova (JAP) - The Goddess of Darkness CD (album) cover

THE GODDESS OF DARKNESS

Ars Nova (JAP)

 

Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 68 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars Ars Nova is the only all girl prog band I know of. While there are other all girl bands performing their own instruments, like the Go-Go's and the Bangles, they were simply mainstream pop/rock bands geared for pop hits. Who'd ever thought the only all girl prog band would be so over the top and bombastic to the core that they even give ELP a run for their money? Even ELP would throw in an occasional acoustic ballad ("Lucky Man", "From the Beginning", "Still... You Turn Me On") to lure people of less discerning taste, and for radio programmers to be able to play something from them without alienating their listeners. Not with Ars Nova. The Goddess of Darkness is their third album and regarded as their best one. Make no mistake who Keiko Kumagai takes for heroes: ELP, Goblin, Museo Rosenbach, Il Balletto di Bronzo, and classical music. I'd probably include Anglagard, but she stated how she wasn't too fond of the 1990s prog scene, and made no mention of Anglagard (making me think she probably would have dismissed them without hearing them), on the other hand I wouldn't be surprised in the least if she actually heard them, because on this particular disc, I get reminded a bit of them as well. It's that similar approach of going through constant changes only to occasionally repeat an earlier theme to let you know what you're listening to. The major difference being Ars Nova doesn't have their quiet, calm, tranquil moments the way of Anglagard. The keyboards are both digital and analog. The music is not only over the top and bombastic, but melodramatic as well, with that dark, Gothic overtone. And speaking of which, I have never been too fond of their Gothic image, probably due to my preference to long haired hippie girls with natural hair color and style. If this sounds great, you know you need this CD. On the other hand, if you dislike prog on the bombastic side,, probably give them a miss. It's really difficult to sift out the songs, as they all pretty much use the same approach. Ars Nova, while obviously paying tribute to the past, doesn't try to sound retro, because the production is pretty modern, and they aren't afraid to use digital synths, but on the other hand, this isn't neo-prog, which is a plus if you run at that thought. I really can't say anything else, but if my description sounds good, get this. BTW, my CD is the Musea pressing with "Isis - She Wakes the Dead" instead of "Ainsel - A Mad Little Girl" in case you own the Made in Japan CD (which features a different cover from the one posted here).
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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