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Aranis - Made in Belgium CD (album) cover





4.04 | 60 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars After the three-band project including the Avant/RIO legends of Present and Univers Zero, Aranis decided to deepen the Belgian thing with their fifth album. The concept was for the band to reinterpret a composition from some ten different Belgian composers, including the well-known Wim Mertens, who will get twice the honour. Twelve tracks that will include one Aranis-leader Vanvinkenroye, but not all composers are well-known, even in small initiated circles. If RIO/Avant fans will recognize the Daniel Denis (UZ) and Roger Trigaux (Present) names, only a few will remember Jan Kuijken and maybe De Vleeschhouwer (now playing piano for Aranis)?. And that's about it. Of course, it's not to say that the lesser-known compositions are any less worthy, quite the contrary. But it would be relatively tough to tell apart any of these pieces apart in a blind test, because they're all pretty similar, outside the two Wim Mertens reprises, which are notably more barren or less complex.

Musically-speaking, we're somewhere between almost purely-classical music and the typical Belgian Chamber Prog that Aranis has become the epitome of. Sonically however, the absence of Dave Kerman's drumming gives back to the band its early sonic softer (and therefore less "rocky") flavour, but the complexity of some of the pieces brings their later efforts in mind. Soooo, MiB would sit somewhere between their first two albums and Roque Forte, so it is somehow a typical Aranis album, but still a far cry from my Preferred Songs From Mirage album. Apparently, their next project will more or less revisit that Mirage album under the Made In Belgium II moniker, thus prompting my enthusiasm.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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