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Arion - Arion CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 56 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Psst, a little secret for prog groups that originate from outside the UK epicenter...feel free to weave your indigenous influences into your progressive quilt. Some bands have gotten this message, particularly in the Basque region and Scandinavia. May I add the Brazilians to this elite group? The example before us is that of ARION, whose lone 2001 release pays homage to RENAISSANCE (both editions) and YES, incorporates modern symphonic influences, and subtly but unmistakably infuses some of their own rich and ancient heritage throughout this impressive debut.

It is true that Tania Braz sings in an overly enunciated English, and Portuguese might have been a better choice, but the sound is still so far from generic neo or symphonic. The more I hear this the more I like it, and these accolades extend especially to the longer compositions, the profound "Eyes of Time" which channels the two RENAISSANCE's through a more energetic transformation full of lush organs and soaring leads. Modern groups in a similar vein, like IONA and KARNATAKA, would do well to pay attention to the many shades and textures in "Daybreak Child", "True Love" and "Land of Dreams", and to the production that so delicately plucks out each instrument from the mix to find its own level. There is no waste here, no overstimulation of the senses, just a peaceful music-induced euphoria.

The album reaches its peak with the closer "Natureza Mistica", sung in Portuguese and perhaps an indigenous Brazilian language, wherein the group makes a not so subtle point about its sense of place. I would like to hear more in this style from Arion.

Even if the album lags with two more aimless and yet predictable patterns in "Cosmic Touch" and "Everyway", ARION will have most of us fans of symphonic and folk in raptures. Highly recommended.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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