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Arcana - The Last Wave CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.23 | 7 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This was the first of two albums that ARCANA released in the latter half of the nineties. Here they are a trio with Tony Williams on drums, Bill Laswell on 8 string electric bass and Derek Bailey on guitar. They broke up after the second release because Tony Williams had passed away. The music on this debut is very much Free Jazz. I've come to realize over the years that i'm not really into Free Jazz. It's really hit and miss with me. Here it's a miss. I swear that Derek Bailey is just trying to drive people over the edge with his noisy, avant and annoying play. I'm surprised Tony or Bill didn't just "take him out" at some point if you know what I mean. And we get an hour of this.

"Broken Circle" and the closer "Transplant Wasteland" are the two most difficult numbers. Again it's Derek's off-key playing and all three sounding like they are playing different tunes that drive's me crazy. It's a relief everytime each song settles because the dissonance is making me twitch. "Cold Blast" has sparse sounds to start and it's kind of spacey. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in and settles 2 minutes later but it's still chaotic and noisey. "The Rattle Of Bones" is again slow to get going (don't complain) then we get a beat after 2 minutes. The bass joins in as the guitar continues to make noise. The guitar plays some powerful distorted riffs 4 1/2 minutes in which I like.

"Pearls And Transformation" sounds like everyone is on a different page. It settles 2 1/2 minutes in but not for long. It settles again after 6 minutes briefly. It's intense 8 1/2 minutes in until after 10 minutes. It picks up after 14 minutes and becomes chaotic. A calm 15 1/2 minutes in. "Tears Of Astral Rain" opens with intricate sounds that are like nails down a chalk board. It's building and so is my stress. It settles back but it's still dissonant. A calm before 6 1/2 minutes to the end.

This just isn't my scene and there is almost nothing that I enjoyed here. The follow-up is apparently much better though.

Mellotron Storm | 2/5 |


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