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Aranis - Roqueforte CD (album) cover





3.97 | 73 ratings

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5 stars The music of Aranis always has been very hard to classify. There are of course influences from fellow countrymen Univers Zero and Present but with their completely acoustic chamber rock they seem to have created a sub genre all of their own. Roqueforte, their 4th album, is even harder to compare to other bands. Out are the singers, in come drums and percussion in the person of Dave Kerman (a.o. Present, Yugen, thinking Plague) The regular line up is further completed by Pierre Chevalier on Piano (UZ) and Steve Wellens on Violin.

The music on Roquefort has gotten a more rhythmic and multilayered approach. People who know Joris Vanvinckenroyes solo album Basta! will recognize some of the elements. But this is not Basta! part 2, this is music written for a full band. You might expect that with the introduction of drums the music has gotten more of a 'rock' feel. This is not the case. The drums and percussion are used to place accents and subtle rhythms. Often in the background, sometimes more in the foreground but they never dominate the sound. The structures and rythms remind me more of the work of Bela Bartok then of a rock band.

The sound is certainly a bit less accessible then the previous efforts but after repeated listenings the tension and harmonies start to reveal themselves more and more. The tune 'Aila' didn't click with me at first but this wonderful composition has no become one of the favourites of the album. Other favourites are the 10-minute long "Naise', which introduces some styles we haven't heard before and "Past' which starts with some nicely interwoven folky tunes but builds up to a powerful ending. The other long track 'Noise' starts strong but might lack a little bit of flow in the middle. However, the ending is simply amazing.

There isn't a weak moment on this album. Aranis combine originality, great musicianship and superb compositions. I can not think of any reason not to reward this album with the full 5 stars.


thedunno | 5/5 |


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