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Arcansiel - Four Daisies CD (album) cover




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4 stars great debut of this italian band,sounds very mediterranean,very sweet and symphonic melodies,maybe self titled song could be the high point of the album,but is enterily recomended,mystical voice mix perfectly with all very well played intruments,truly recomended in every collection.file under classical symphonic-neo prog
Report this review (#19194)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This "Arcansiel" debut album is rather pleasant. Very personnal although some Camel influences can be found in the opening number "Un Arc Dans Le Ciel". But the song is harder and most convincing. A good instrumental piece of work. Probably a bit of Genesis during "Four Daisies" but not too much. it is a more complew song, featuring some good vocals (in English).

The song featuring most vocals is "Evelyn"; and Marco Galetti is doing alright I must say. The second half of the song is truely magical : guitar & keys sharing the top of the bill. Really attractive.

My fave song is "When You're Right". This will bring you with lots of subtlety into the Genesis world. Instrumentally. No attempt in sounding like Gabriel since there are almost no vocals on this album. And this is fine with me. The music in here is just beautiful. And I like it. Romantic sweet moments, wonderful acoustic breaks and finally a very catchy finale; somewhat Supertrampish. A great number, no doubt. "Stories Of A Lake" sounds also very nice : good sax (but not invading) and great guitar even if the struture of the song is rather straight-forward.

This is of course not an essential album, nor "Arcansiel" a pivotal band in the Italian prog history but when this album was released (1988); prog was not really in great shape and this must be added to Arcansiel's credit. I believe that prog needs such a band; which perpretrates the style.

Three stars for this one. But they'll do better.

Report this review (#134324)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Milan-based band led by Marco Galletti (keyboards),ARCANSIEL started in 1982 as ''Sprouts'' covering mainly GENESIS songs.By mid-80's Galletti had already written some original material,while the band was renamed to ARCANSIEL,featuring also Gianni Lavagno on drums,Nico Clerici on bass,Piero Zancanaro on clarinet/sax and Claudio Baretta on guitars.It was the time for ARCANSIEL to start performing live,while they also recorded their first LP ''Four daisies'',released on Contempo Records (re-released two years later on CD).

The album holds some similarities with the style of mid-70's GENESIS and MARILLION,but it also has a strong personality,mainly to the use of the saxes of Piero Zancanaro.Their sound is definitely out of fashion,regarding the year of the album's release: Galletti's organ passages are clearly in the vein of TONY BANKS,his synth parts are also well-crafted and the guitar work of Barretta tends to 80's UK prog sound with a FLOYD-ian reference with nice melodies and catchy grooves.Zancanaro is definitely the pleasant surprise here.His melodic sax solos are full of emotion and delicacy,adding the band a touch of originality.Vocals,held by Galletti as well,are not the strong point of ARCANSIEL,without being an obvious weakness.My conclusion:The album is balanced between some trully fantastic memorable tracks and some mediocre ones,so ''Four daisies'' has more than a few good moments to be part of your collection.Recommended.

Report this review (#201058)
Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Un arc dans le Ciel - the positive: excellent use of wind instruments, decent guitar work. the negative: pedestrian drum line that almost never changes course and a sort of Flock of Seagulls-ish sound creeps in on occasion with the keyboard play

Four Daisies - they are still spot on with the use of the wind instruments on this song and I can't complain about the level of skill involved in the bands play but, that being said, this is not a track that can grab you in with its virtuosity and hold your attention. Seems to be musical potential here but the composition doesn't match it. The singing doesn't do much other than confirming that this, indeed, is a 1980s release.

Evelyn - Ok, here we go, the highlight track so far. For the first 3 minutes you will get soft and vulnerable vocals with the music swimming around it to a great balanced effect. From 3 minutes on the song ascends into a fast paced rocker only slowing to frame some excellent sax work.

When you're Right - I have trouble describing tracks that have nothing either exceptionally bad or good about them. The music is well played but it isn't particularly interesting with the exception of the softer sections. I do not own any of their follow up albums but I would be interested in seeing if they decided to scrap the poor drum lines and heavier bits in favor of the very beautiful style the display in the softer moments of this album (which are sadly few and far between). This song really goes through the motions after the 8:30 mark, I'm not sure where they were trying to go with it and for some reason I doubt they knew either. All over the place is a reasonable guess.

Stories of a Lake (Bonus Track) - If I could get my attention away from the nauseously repetitive drumming and bass work then you might have a nice little rock song here, maybe.

Not having heard ARCANSIEL's slightly higher rated follow up album, Still Searching, I don't know where the band took their sound after this album but my hope is that they let someone else pen the tunes and either let the drummer out of his box or canned him all together (though I'd rather think that his not doing much isn't his fault). While listening to this I thought about what could have been had someone wise stepped in and told them how beautiful the rare softer moments were and how pedestrian everything else was. As for a rating: If there is anyone out there interested in hearing unfullfilled potential then this is your album. This is for fans only.

Report this review (#207881)
Posted Friday, March 20, 2009 | Review Permalink

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