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Artcane - Odyssee CD (album) cover

ODYSSEE

Artcane

 

Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 40 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AdamHearst
2 stars This obscure French band's one and only album is good, but far from great. It definitely has it's moments but tends to wander aimlessly through long, boring, uninspired instrumental sections.

The album starts off on an extremely strong note with the aggressive and heavy guitar-dominated instrumental 'Odyssee'... this introductory track leads perfectly into the next song 'Le Chant D'orphee'. This is, by far, the best song on the album... it has a creepy atmosphere and is quite dark and brooding. The vocals (all in French) are very good as well, and have a somewhat histrionic approach similar to Ange, but not quite as over-the-top.

After the first two excellent songs you feel like you're in for a real treat... but the following few songs are seriously disappointing. My main gripe is the the extreme vocal deficiency that sets in; from 'Novembre' on this is almost entirely instrumental... a very bad choice by this band. Their players are far from virtuosos, and I think they would have been better off focusing on writing more compact song-oriented material... these endless solos are far from impressive in my opinion.

The centerpiece of the album is the epic 'Artcane I' which starts with five minutes of esoteric ambience from repetitive and mesmerizing synth and guitar lines... it has a similar effect as the intro to King Crimson's 'Larks Tongues in Aspic, part I' and even reminds me a bit of Goblin on some of their horror film scores. When the drums and the rest of the song finally kick in, it is one of the most powerful moments on the record... the raging drums snap you back to reality after the hypnosis session that was the first 5 minutes. Unfortunately, the song has far too few interesting ideas to warrant it's extended duration. This just drags on and on... some vocals were definitely needed here to keep things interesting.

'Nostalgie' is a beautiful Folk-Prog song with lovely vocal melodies and serene acoustic guitar playing... i really wish more of this album had this song's emotional impact; it creates a very sullen and somber mood, and creates a feeling of sad nostalgia and deep contemplation. Why, oh why, couldn't this band have made a whole album more in this style?!

In summary: this could have been an amazing gem of an album, but after an initial promising start it goes downhill fast and becomes a huge letdown. This band had great potential, but in my estimation they squandered it trying to be something they didn't have the talent to be (namely: King Crimson).

AdamHearst | 2/5 |

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