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Arcadium - Breathe Awhile CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 71 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars In my never ending pursuit for those obscure gems of prog and psychedelia, I just discovered another act, this time by a British five piece act calling themselves ARCADIUM. The band performed at London's Middle Earth Club, and had their one and only album "Breathe Awhile" released on the Middle Earth label. Three other artists had recorded for that label in the 1969-70 period, that is Wooden O, WRITING ON THE WALL, and Tam White (the final album on the label was a compilation called Earthed). None of the albums released on the Middle Earth label are easy to come by if you're to seek out the original LPs, luckily Repertoire in Germany made "Breathe Awhile" (as well as WRITING ON THE WALL's "The Power of the Picts") available as a CD reissue (with two bonus cuts from a single the band put out the same time).

ARCADIUM consisted of: - Graham Best: bass, vocals - Allan Ellwood: organ, vocals - John Albert Parker: drums - Robert Ellwood: lead guitar, vocals - Miguel Sergides: 12-string guitar, vocals

"Breathe Awhile" is nothing short of an amazing prog/psych album. Remember this is 1969, meaning that of course, they hadn't left their psychedelic roots behind. The performance is all real solid, although the vocals are a bit sloppy, nothing that really bothers me. "Walk on the Bad Side" is a song that starts off not on a great note, it actually sucked at the beginning (a little too pop-like), but I just loved how this song just got better and better as it progresses! "Woman of a Thousand Years" is not to be confused with the Danny Kirwan-penned FLEETWOOD MAC song by the same name (besides, Future Games didn't come out until 1971, two years later), this is a totally different song. The closing song, "Birth, Life and Death" just absolutely blew me away! This, and the other lenghty epic, the opening "I'm On My Way" just shows what was great in the late '60s/early '70s prog/psych scene. Only two cuts, in my book, don't quite work: "Change Me" which seems to be a bit repetitive, and "It Takes a Woman".

Of course, given the era this was in, don't expect polished and sophisticated symphonic prog in the YES and ELP vein. But for those who enjoy early prog/psych, I can highly recommend this album.

Proghead | 5/5 |


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