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Arcadium - Breathe Awhile CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.76 | 72 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Out of the very depths of progressive rock comes this slightly interesting and rather nice album. Released 50 years ago it made little impact and I suppose that for the majority of prog lovers this album is quite obscure and to a large extent unknown. I can see why but at the same time it's a pity. It's not a groundbreaking album and the music itself is rather typical for the period and the genre. It is a record steeped in the psychedelic mould but it stretches out into new territory aswell, trying to expand upon the musical form. The development of rock music is obviously something that had been going on for quite some time by 1969. Every new artist and band added something new to the very basics of the music that was to become rock, hard rock and progressive music. Arcadium did their bit and although they never became as influential as King Crimson or Yes (or any other giant) has simply to do with opportunity, luck (as always) and, to be frank, the quality of the music.

This album starts off with "I'm on my way". It's a "builder", starting off in a mellow and very psychedelic fashion before heading into a great hammond driven beast of a song. It's quite good, especially the last organ driven part of the song. I think it may be a bit too uneventful at first but I have grown accustomed to it and now I like it alot. In many respects it is quite sypmtomatic of the album as a whole. Harsh, organ driven, sombre (or even depressing sounding), bleak and loud. If they had continued as a band releasing more albums I think they would have ventured either into the territory of full blown hardrock or carved out a nice piece of progressive land.

The next five songs are good and steeped in the same mould, more or less. What you get is powerful and well played proto- prog, as I would like to call it. "Change me" is a ballad-y song, which is good, and breaks the formula a bit. "It takes a woman" is a hardrock knock-out with extremely loud guitar. I like it alot. I think that all of the first six songs are good or great but I like the ending "epic" of "Birth, life and death" the most. It's not what I would call an epic, really. Sure, there are movements in there but I find it's more in the prolonged jamming quarters. Nothing wrong with that.

At first listen I wasn't that amused but after a few listens I got hooked. In many ways it's one of those obscure, loud, organ driven hardrock albums that nods to the future of prog and keeps one foot in the psychedelic pool but it is also a charming time piece that grooves along and offers a heartfelt dose of sincere music. You've probably heard the sound before, if you like me are into early progressive music, but sometimes that is just what you need. The sole album of Arcadium is not a fantastic album, possibly not even great but it's a decent and good album. If you want to explore the beginnings of prog you might want to start elsewhere but when you've come a bit on the way it might be interesting enough. It holds a place in my heart, mostly because of the massive organ, which sounds a bit dirty but there you go.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |


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