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Ars Nova (JAP) - The Book Of The Dead [Aka: Reu Nu Pert Em Hru] CD (album) cover


Ars Nova (JAP)


Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nothing really new under the sun of this Japanese band.

Their bombastic and pompous ELP-ish style is 100% present, as usual. There are lots of very short tracks on this effort (six out of eleven tracks! Clocking at six minutes in total). Even if this is a "concept" album about the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, such needs for transitional tracks was not really needed IMO.

This is crafted music played by skilled musicians but inspiration is just not on the rendez-vous. This is highly technical for the sake of it ("The 42 Gods").

In this context, a song as "Held Of Jaru" must be considered as the highlight of this album. The first melodic and emotional piece so far during which Keiko Kumagai (Ars Nova's goddess) can fully express her talent. Maybe their best song ever. It is a nice invitation to a travel in time and combines bombastic and almost classical passages. The "Tarkus" spirit is revived at times during this album (but it is not the first time that "Ars Nova" is borrowing ideas from this great track.

The problem with this album (and other ones from the band) is that it repeatedly reworks the same sounds. I admit that ELP fans (to which I do belong) might enjoy this but even if I was charmed during the first listening of Ars Nova work , I do not spin their album frequently. As background music it works fine because I like to be remembered those notes but not when I need to concentrate on it.

I have this feeling during "The Judgement Of Osiris" (especially during the finale which is pretty boring).

"Ani's Heart And Maat's" starts with a Far-East flavour. Almost as if you were attending a temple ceremony, but not in Egypt this time. Lots of different themes, which is good to avoid uniformity. The mix of some native Japanese music with these bombastic keyboards works fine. Another highlight thanks to a brilliant final part. Extremely passionate.

This album is far from being essential and depending how desperate you are in being brought into the "ELP" world you will adore or abhor this release.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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