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Aranis - II CD (album) cover





3.87 | 36 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars In two years' time, not much has changed for this Antwerp sextet, beit musically-speaking, line-up-wise and even visually speaking, as the artwork on their second is almost the same as their first, if you'll except that the male figures of the cover artwork became females, which for progheads is an improvement ;-)). So their typically Belgian chamber prog remained much the same, even if the group sounds tighter and the compositions even more fluid than on their debut. The songwriting is still completely dominated by Vanvinckenroye

Again the album is completely instrumental, full of "classical" instruments, taking roots in folk, classical and sometimes even from pre-classical music, the end result shows a special type of music that can only be called rock by its attitude, progressive by its foundation and construction, avant-prog for its place into our beloved Archives, and Chamber prog for its close kinship to other Belgian groups ranging from Univers Zero, DAAU, Cro Magnon, Julverne or even Finnegans Wake. The moods range from the festive (Vala or Gona) to the dramatic, see the gloomy ambiance of Waris, where X-Legged Sally's Bart Maris makes a chilling appearance with his trumpet, to the fusion of Looking Glass. As said in other reviews, this writer is no fan of accordions, but Marjolein's is mostly used as an ambiance (sometimes close to a harmonium, rather than a lead instrument. Trog is the only title not from the group, and proposes an almost dissonant soundscape that changes a bit from the rest of the album

In conclusion, Aranis' second album is just as good as their debut, despite the absence of an epic track like Zilezi (that 15-mins corker from their debut), but here, their mastery of their musical subject has become an evidence.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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