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Akacia - An Other Life CD (album) cover

AN OTHER LIFE

Akacia

 

Symphonic Prog

2.89 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars It seemed to be the perfect album to have for someone like me who just loves symphonic prog music above all things musical. Akacia´s biography says those american guys work was influenced by such 70´s classic bands like Yes, Genesis, ELP and King Crimson. And when I saw that the CD has only four long tracks it just seemed to fit right in! I was ready to see myself listening to those long symphonic prog tracks that take me to a delightful journey through the pleasure of hearing heaven singing. So I was quite surprised when I put the record on my CD player. I could dardly find any trace of those aforementioned bands on Akacia´s An Other Life.

Akacia here plays a kind of heavy prog with some slightly symphonic overtones in some parts, but they´re main influences are not Yes neither Genesis(or any other classic prog stuff for the matter). Not that they are bad: in fact, they are quite good musicians and clearly the drummer and the guitarrist are excellent players (but Doug Meadows is not in the Bill Brufford fashion as one reviewer claimed). But they are clearly influenced by 70´s blues based rock bands like Mountain. And the guitar lines are more rooted in the blues school of Clapton or Page than the classical styles of Hackett or Howe. Keyboards are a bit subdued too, which is very strange to a band labeled as ´synphonic´.

But Akacia´s main problem is their songwriting. The four long tracks have some very good ideas that looked like they were put together without much working: they simply sound tedious after a few minutes and the dynamics are not the best. The first song, An Other Life is a typical exemple of that: a combination of different melodies and rhythm patterns that comes and goes without much cohesion. Eric Naylor seems to try to reach certain notes his voice clearly is not really capable of. I don´t mind the preachy lyrics, though, like several reviewers do. I´m from a non english speaking country anyway and I´m used not to bother with such things.

Conclusion: good band, green compositions, a bit of a lack of discipline on the arrangements. They would do much better if they had worked out those songs a little more before entering in the studio to record them. I wonder if their follow ups are improvements over this one. One day I´ll take my chances with another of their albums to see if they fixed those problems. An Other Life is not a bad record if you like heavy rock with some symphonic hints here and there. But son´t expect too much. Rating: something between 2 and 2,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |

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