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Areknamés Love Hate Round Trip album cover
3.71 | 97 ratings | 13 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Skeletal Landscape of the World (6:42)
2. Deceit (10:15)
3. Outcast (4:04)
4. La chambre (7:26)
5. Snails (7:31)
6. Yet I Must Be Something (5:15)
7. Ignis fatuus (11:22)
8. Stray Thoughts from a Crossroad (7:24)
9. A Grotesque Gift (1:23)
10. Someone Lies Here (4:43)
11. Pendulum Arc (6:49)
12. The Web of Years (5:08)

Total Time 78:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Stefano Colombi / acoustic & electric guitars
- Michele Epifani / organ, synth, Mellotron, electric & grand piano, recorder, vocals, composer, mixing
- Piero Ranalli / bass
- Simone Antonini / drums

- Luigi Belfatto / trumpet (5,8)
- Lucy (?) / spoken word (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Areknamés

CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD 094-2 (2006, Italy)

2LP Black Widow Records ‎- BWR 094 (2006, Italy)

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AREKNAMÉS Love Hate Round Trip ratings distribution

(97 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

AREKNAMÉS Love Hate Round Trip reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I'm not quite sure why I don't love this band. They have all the ingredients that would normally make me drool. Mellotron, heavy guitar and an overall dark sound. I think though that they put the emphasis on other things that just don't do it for me. Having said all that I like this record, maybe a little more then their debut. At almost 80 minutes in length it's a way too long though. The lead guitar is not very prominant at all except for on the first song, what is prominant though is the leader of the bands organ play and his Hammill like vocals.

Highlights for me are the first song "The Skeletal Landscape Of the World" which is all over the place. It opens with SABBATH like sludge as mellotron, guitar, vocals and drums follow. The BLACK SABBATH vibe continues and I especially like the sound 5 minutes in with the lazy guitar and mellotron. The intro on "Outcast" is great but the song turns me off when the vocals come in so loud and noisy. "Snails" is actually a cover of a GNIDROLOG song.

"Yet I Must Be Something" is a song I like a lot, especially the mellotron. "Ignus Fatuus" has Hammill-like vocals, bass and piano to open. The heavy passages come and go. "Stray Thoughts From A Crossroad" has some angular guitar as well as piano, organ and trumpet. Mellotron 6 minutes in and a great rhythm. The final tune "The Web Of Years" sounds so different from the other songs. Synths, acoustic guitar and higher pitched vocals, with heavy passages as well.

I think more people will rate this at 4 or 5 stars than the 3.5 I give it, so if what I describe is your cup of tea I suggest you check this Italian band out.

Review by andrea
4 stars The second album of this Italian band from Pescara is definitely better than their eponymous debut one. The band go further exploring the possibilities of mixing vintage instruments sounds and love for Seventies Prog masters such as VDGG or Genesis with new ideas... Although you can find here some echoes from the past, Areknamés are not just a clone of someone else playing by tore and trying to stir nostalgic feelings into their listeners. To the contrary, the song-writing of the leader Michele Epifani is excellent and on this album Areknamés seem to have found their own way...

The opener "The Skeletal Landscape Of The World" is a complex and dark thread of images "painted" by the voice of Epifani that reminds of Genesis and VDGG... It features aggressive guitar in Black Sabbath style well intertwined with quieter piano and keyboards passages...

The second track, "Deceit" in my opinion is outstanding... "Come to me, I'm ready..." In the beginning vocals are enthralling and delicate, soaring upon an ethereal keyboard and acoustic guitar pattern, but all along the more than 10 minutes length of this piece there's room for many surprises and changes in the musical direction...

The music keeps on flowing without weak moments, actually all the tracks are very good, like the sinister and agoraphobic "Outcast", "La Chambre" (inspired by a Balthus' painting), "Snails" (a Gnidrolog's cover), "Yet I Must Be Something", "Ignis Fatuus", "Stray Thoughts From A Crossroad"... Actually, there's no filler till the final "The Web Of Years". All the compositions, although complex, are perfectly balanced showing great song-writing skills that combine dark symphonic prog with jazz, psychedelic and classical influences...

Probably Areknmées during the session of this album were dreaming to be in the Seventies, but without losing the conscience of the present. Their music is about dreams and nightmares, they're like painters using notes instead of brushes to draw musical landscapes and images... At length they managed to escape from their "rusty cage of fears" and from the scepticism that surrounded their debut... "There's no more sign of something that makes dreams different from reality / It wasn't me that chose it" (from "La Chambre").

In the whole, I think that "Love Hate Round Trip" could be an excellent addition to every prog collection and it is especially recommended to fans of bands like Van Der Graaf Generators...

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I was quite in love with their Van Der Graaf oriented debut album. Rating their earlier work rather high (four stars), I was keen on listening to their second output.

Obviously, their source of inspiration remained the same, but the sound is much heavier, like we can share in the opening number The Skeletal Landscape Of The World. A Sabbath/ Graaf combo like there are none. Once the first moments of surprise are through, this scary and heavy song is quite enjoyable. But not for all ears. One can even experience a symphonic finale ŕ la PFM ( Impressioni Di Settembre). A great opener, indeed.

The band doesn't make any compromise. They just record what they feel and try (and suceed as far as I'm concerned) to convey some great ambiance. The same difficult approach as the masters is to be noticed. For sure, they are not going to make millions out of their music. Dark, complex, chaotic/hectic, out of reach and hard to apprehend for newbies.

Some might of course say (accordingly), that this sounds too much regressive, but quite honestly: I far much prefer a band playing this sort of music than to be drowned into another Genesis or Yes type of clone. Under these circumstances, Deceit is by no means a deception. It should bring any Graaf maniac to some kindness towards them. A great and intricate song. Another highlight. Powerful and diverse.

Areknamés is really a band you should discover if you ever are missing the great Graaf sounds. This is of course no replacement. Just another option for desperate fans.

The only minus point would be that the album lasts for about eighty minutes. Some of the numbers (La Chambre) should have been shortened to keep the quality level on par; and like their model (the Graaf), a song as Snails is quite hermetic to say the least.

As if the band was aware of this aspect, they would decide to record a truely melodic and balanced song like Yet I Must Be Something. Now, for Graaf maniacs, there is Ignis Faatus. I can understand that some are irritated with such a track. But again, I haven't been confronted so many times with such a band willing to re-create the Graaf atmosphere. And doing it in such a great and decent manner! I can't help: I just like it very much.

It seems that Peter (Hammill) is just next door. The vocal part is so convincing and far from what one could expect from an Italian band (I mean singing in English of course). This song is a wonderful journey into the early Graaf days. I am only thankful to Araknamés to have brought me into these sounds again. Another highlight. The third one so far.

Comparison not being reason, there is even some sax during Stray Thoughts From A Crossroad which is a psyche and loaded tune. But if you you have read some of my early Graaf reviews, you would easily understand how Araknamés came down there.

This album is quite a difficult excercise to rate. Let's say that you have to compare some wines. Some coming out of France (the genuine territory as far as I am concerned) and other ones from Argentina, South Africa or Australia. A daunting task.

I would say that this band is doing alright. At times, they are grandiose. But not always. I am quite enthusiast about half of the songs but Araknamés are rather difficult to appprehend here. To cut a long story short: I think that their debut is better and that Love Hate Round Trip should have been cut down by twenty minutes.

As such, three stars is my rating.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Almost 80 minutes of progressive greatness heavily stated from the somber side of the genre - this sentence serves as a proper introductory description of "Love Hate Round Trip", Areknamés' sophomore release. After a promising eponymous debut album that was very good but not to the level of magnificence, now Areknamés, augmented as a quartet, really went to musical heights: this album's material is exquisitely powerful in terms of composition, arrangements and performing stamina. "Love Hate Round Trip" is an exhibition of how pessimism and self-loath can be combined together in order to inspire demolishing musical ideas like whirlwinds across the sky. The band's overall sound has evidently tightened up, nurturing the permanent VdGG references with sonic procedures partially inspired by Black Sabbath, King Crimson and, to a lesser degree, Gentle Giant. I really find coincidences with old obscure prog bands that played the game through the filter of heavy rock-related psychedelia, such as Island and Gnidrolog. For the less tortured moments among the overall display of sonic energy, Areknamés leans a bit close to illustrious compatriots such as La Maschera di Cera, "Eclissi"-era A Piedi Nudi or Ubi Maior. You can also notice some relations with the dense darkness of early Anekdoten, Hypnos 69 and "Storm Season"-era White Willow. The album kicks off with the dark vitality of 'The Skeletal Landscape of the World'; the classicist piano interlude and the complex motif that sets the second part's scheme bring a proper sense of variation. 'Deceit' is longer and more ambitious, refurbishing the general anger with diverse sonorities that feel really creepy. even in the calmer moments in which the band elaborates spacey nuances. 'Outcast' doesn't change things, but it brings a less heavy approach to the perpetuating mood of solitary bitterness. 'La Chambre' starts quite playful: the organ is featured here, as if Emerson had decided to play some music written by Banton and let go of his signature chops. The rhythm duo indulges in some jazzy undertones through the track's versatile structure. At times, the track goes for extremes of creepiness. 'Snails' sort of restores the overall mood of 'Deceit', but this track reveals a much bigger focus on the contrast between the eerie and heavy passages. Guest trumpeter Luigi Belfotto adds excellent colors to the closing moments. 'Yet I Must Be Something' brings a moment of reflective serenity, mostly grayish but also apart from the quest for disturbance and tension. 'Ignis Fatuus', the album's longest piece, starts on a very lyrical note, but after the 2'30" minute mark, the menacing disturbance makes a first announcement. After the 3'30" minute mark, the track's central core is revealed as a majestic heavy prog ballad: Colombi's blues-friendly guitar leads prove quite complementary to Epifani's synth solos, more flashy and rotted on the standard of psychedelic prog. The ominous mellotron layers that take center stage near the end design a proper farewell. 'Stray Thoughts from a Crossboard' is primordially constrained in a rare sense of serenity: the trumpet lines complete the aura of emotional tranquility. Only near the end things get a bit denser, with traffic sounds announcing the song's definitive conclusion. 'A Grotesque Gift' is a brief exercise on free-form psychedelia that might as well fit a scene in a horror movie featuring sinister looking toys in a dark attic; it serves as a kind of prelude to the following track, 'Someone Lies Here', a constructed semi- ballad that stands somewhere between the aforesaid prelude's pending creepiness and a cuasi- symphonic melodic vibe. 'Pendulum Arc' brings back the harshness that had been predominant, although this time with more pronounced jazzy cadences in some sections and old-fashioned hard rock vibes in others (almost like a Uriah Heep-ed VdGG). The lead guitar is all over the place when soloing, bringing an eerie somberness to the overall jazzed jamming that states the track's nucleus. For the moment of the synth solo, the whole ensemble is engaged in a more concise architecture. The bombastic closure is quite effective. The last track 'The Web of Years' apparently begins as an acoustic ballad, but it soon develops a now overtly familiar angry psychedelia in a very ceremonious fashion. "Love Hate Round Trip" is an excellent prog gem of our times: Areknamés is growing solidly as a big current name for the genre.
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good shot from Italy, except it doesn't sound like anything else I've heard from Italy. So it's from IT, but it's not Rock progresívo italiáno, which is quite unusual. I don't say bad, because I like this record.

Very long album, full 76 minutes, that's something even now in era of CD's isn't normal. I appreciate it. Musically, there are soma parts which sounds more like jazz improvisation than classic prog rock. Or maybe it's thing which is important for prog, to be innovative. Nevermind, it's good to listening, really good. It has many good moments, even there's something I cannot precisely describe, which prevents me to give it five stars. I really don't know why or what it is. I mean it sounds good, right ? It has good vocals, longer tracks in general and so on. So I think it's OK to give 4

EDIT: I wish I know more why, but I feel only to give 3(+), because something is preventing me from enjoying it. Sound of it is strange, I don't like it. Somehow, from some reason. Melodies are also weird, not pleasant, not experimental, just ugly. And bad perhaps.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Down a muddy road in pouring rain

Wet, foggy, is elemental and atmospheric vibes that come through to me listening to this eclectic Italian prog band. It is true that the band is a must for fans of VDGG and Anekdoten, featuring Hammill style vocals (in English) and long desolate keyboard meandering kept honest by an edgy, riff able electric guitar presence. One of Black Widow's premier artists, Areknames sophomore effort was one of the awarded albums at the 2006 ProgAwards festivities.

There is so much here to gobble, but I have to mention "Stray thoughts from a Crossroad" which simply exists in its own emotional state. A reassuring, pulsing bass is all that keeps you grounded as the piano and sax lift your emotions up and bring them back down. Far out lyrics beautifully sung and a velvety smooth guitar solo allow the listener one of several reprieves from the album's general heaviness. More typical is the album's longest standout, "Ignis Fatuus", at over 11 minutes. Here we are fully drenched in a lumbering darkness albeit still treated to exquisite piano and sensitive lead guitar. The mood of this stuff reminds me of the old Hero album which we have in the database, complex, dark, and chaotic as hell. The album was conceived as a double album originally which explains the sweeping feel of the 78 minutes. It is a beautiful and moody mélange of vintage keyboard sounds (organ, synth, grand piano, mellotron) stacked with angular guitar brushstrokes, and occasionally poetic lyrics. While not an easy piece of music to digest early on there are rewards here for those who give it some time. I am not with those who find "love hate" to be the best modern Italy has to offer but it is a fascinating album for fans of "night" prog and fans of VDGG style bands, and it certainly is 3-star turf for me. The booklet contains full lyrics and nice artwork for each track.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Love Hate Round Trip" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Italian progressive rock act Areknamés. The album was released through Black Widow Records in 2006. It´s the successor to the band´s eponymously titled debut album from 2003. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the debut album as the band have opted to add a dedicated guitarist to their ranks in Stefano Colombi. Colombi recorded a guitar solo on the debut album (on the "Boredom" track), but wasn´t a permanent member on that album. There´s been one more change in the lineup as drummer Mino Vitelli has left and has been replaced by Simone Antonini.

"The skeletal landscape of the world" opens the album with some pretty heavy riffs and rhythms which wouldn´t be out of place on a Black Sabbath album, but Areknamés are a more eclectic bunch, and stylistically the material on "Love Hate Round Trip" is a combination of many different hard rock and progressive rock elements and styles. The debut album was strongly influenced by Van der Graaf Generator (especially the vocals), but "Love Hate Round Trip" doesn´t rely as much on that particular influence, although the influence from the darkness and creative songwriting of that band are still audible. Other influences heard on the album are from artists like Pink Floyd and King Crimson.

Lead vocalist/keyboard player Michele Epifani is a central figure in Areknamés. Of course as a frontman there´s great focus on you, but it´s not his singing skills or voice which are anything extraordinary (in fact he isn´t the most interesing singer out there), but instead his organ/piano/mellotron contributions, which are a great asset to the music.

Featuring 12 tracks and 78:02 minutes of music, "Love Hate Round Trip" is arguably a very long album, and maybe also slightly too long, but overall the quality of the material is high, and Areknamés successfully incorporate both heavy, mellow, and atmospheric parts, to make "Love Hate Round Trip" a relatively varied release. The album features an organic and decent sounding production job, and upon conclusion it´s a good quality sophomore studio album by Areknamés. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After a first album in 2003, critically well respected and appreciated, and responding to incongruent expectations of those who dreamed of hearing VDGG interpreted by a group from the Canterbury scene, Areknames gave us Love Hate Round Trip, two-headed, so obviously between the monstrous and the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1314254) | Posted by brainsuccasurgery | Sunday, November 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my review of their debut album, I wrote that this band is a very talented band which may deliver a great album one day......... or something to that effect. Well, they have just delivered this album. Areknames continues down the same path from the debut album........ with some subtle cha ... (read more)

Report this review (#297407) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, September 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 2nd album to this excellent Italian group, which claimed to be influence mainly by VDGG, but don't get the wrong impression that this is just a one-band-clone. Most of the 12 tracks are what is called 'epics', very well structured and developed. The few tracks that do not seem to feet exactly to ... (read more)

Report this review (#163682) | Posted by ShW1 | Tuesday, March 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album blew me away completely, from the first King crimson inspired assault to the last minute of this awesome album. I'm a huge fan of Van der graaf generator and most albums from Peter Hammills so when I got a tip to check this album out I got it and couldn't beleive my ears. Areknames is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#147527) | Posted by Andis | Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Italian Areknames sounds like 1975 Van Der Graaf Generator, but somehow their sound is fresh and vital. The flexible songs are dominated by "Hammillish" vocals, hard rock guitars and mourning organs. Behind all the mighty mellotron creates beautiful textures. This is warm, living music wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#120683) | Posted by coaxial | Thursday, May 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.3 stars really Areknames is modern Italian band, and their music style can be described as Symphonic prog. Therefore somebody can get an impression that this is one of the numerous bands continuing wonderful traditions of all those Italian Symphonic Progressive Greats such as PFM, Le Orme ... (read more)

Report this review (#99758) | Posted by eugene | Tuesday, November 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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