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Arcansiel Swimming In The Sand - The Best of 1989 - 2004 album cover
3.23 | 14 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swimmer In The Sand
2. Angel Of March
3. Holy Wolf Suite
4. I Am Still Searching
5. Evelyn
6. The End

Releases information

CD Musea Records #FGBG 4560.AR (2004)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ARCANSIEL Swimming In The Sand - The Best of 1989 - 2004 ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARCANSIEL Swimming In The Sand - The Best of 1989 - 2004 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars For me ARCANSIEL has always been a promising band that never reached the level of bands like IQ, PENDRAGON or TWELFTH NIGHT, although they had the potential: every of their three albums contained good compositions but also material that couldn't keep my attention. Now ARCANSIEL has delivered a 'best of ' compilation and for the first time, how cynical, this fine Italian band has made a mature CD! An hour long you can enjoy alternating symphonic rock in the vein of IQ with lots of breaks, changing of climates and great solo work (guitar, organ and saxophone with strong echoes from PINK FLOYD). Their 'magnum opus' is the long track "Evelyn" (21 minutes): it starts mellow with emotional vocals, than a catchy rhythm and lots of solos (violin, acoustic - and electric guitar, organ and synthesizer) and finally a compelling and bombastic atmosphere with sensitive electric guitar play. If you like melodic, 24-carat symphonic rock with beautiful guitar and keyboards, this one is yours.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars ARCANSIEL got back together after breaking up as a band in the nineties. This is a "Best Of" release that they brought out as a precursor to putting out a new studio record.

They re-did all the original songs and the first song "Swimming In The Sand" is a brand new song. Hard to believe they have been around since the late eighties. I really like their sound, good vocals that are in English. Lots of keyboards and guitar along with sax, flute and violin. "Angel Of March" is a catchy song with soaring guitars, great keyboards, I especially like the quiet parts with the flute.

"I Am Still Searching" is a keyboard driven song that's not as good as the first two songs, but the harmonies are nice. "Evelyn" includes violin, sax and flute with some soaring guitar, it's all good including the keyboards. This is probably the best song on here. "The End" is kind of jazzy with STING-like vocals, some sampling, Rhodes piano and sax. I lastly will talk about "Holy Wolf Suite". It starts with the singer rapping (yikes !) and he also drops some "F" bombs and also includes some perverted lyrics. Awful, awful song. Skip it every time, and what should have been an excellent rating receives a good rating.

Still worth getting though.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The philosophy of this album is somewhat similar to "Chronos" from "Starcastle". "Arcansiel" will rework some oldies and release this compilation album. But where "Starcastle" did use this as a pretext to a reunion of all the founding members and produced some very pleasant new versions, "Arcansiel" did not follow this direction.

They actually did something VERY wrong, IMO.

Their greatest song ever released and their sole epic "I'm Still Searching" is reduced to a mere seven minutes (coming from over twenty-one). But in order to produce another epic, the band (whose line-up for this re-write work does not even feature their leader) decided to stretch "Evelyn" (originally just over seven minutes) to a twenty-one minutes piece of music. I really do not understand this approach.

"I Am Still Searching" is completely denaturated and the vocals (lead + backing) are absolutely infamous. What did you do to my song ??? (see my review for the according album to get the full picture if you feel like it).

Now, "Evelyn". I didn't even mentioned it when I reviewed "Four Daisies" (their pleasant debut album) but, for the sake of expressing my feelings, I have to admit that this extended version is definitely waaaay better than the original. Nice violin, great guitar breaks and beautiful keyboards. A very good prog number indeed (in this version). IQ sits around the corner (which is OK to me) and at times I even feel like the "Neuschwanstein" singer is back.

The worse are of course the vocals for "Holy Wolf Suite" : they are as bad as the original. Hopefully the great duo sax / guitar is as powerful. The finale with its powerful keys is just gorgeous, to be honest. From the same album, the listener has to bear "The End". But just forget about it : this song which was poor will remain so.

Still, a song like "Angel Of March" from their second album will sound rather different here. But no great sax at the end of it, which is a pity.

Oh yes. I almost forgot the unreleased track "Swimmer In The Sand". Just below average.

Fortunately, two tracks will save this "compilation". The good thing is that they are good for over thirty minutes (just under the half of this album). These are really four stars songs. "Holy Wolf" being a two stars one.

I will round up my rating to three stars but if you want to get the best out of "Arcansiel", do listen to "Still Searching ".

Latest members reviews

4 stars I don't know what this band done before, but this Best of is realy good. I think the song on this album having re-enrigister because the quality of song is very nice. We have very melodic song whit beatiful guitar symphony,the vocal i'ts ok but he sing just 30% of time the instrumental part take ... (read more)

Report this review (#32029) | Posted by | Sunday, September 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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