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Akacia - The Brass Serpent CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.23 | 39 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Boring gospel music disguised as progressive rock

You know, progressive rock isn't e very large genre within the music business and many bands remain unknown in spite of being great musicians, impressive composers, innovative and surprising (in the sense that the music they play twists and turns in unexpected ways). In other words, many bands have no recognition at all despite having all the good qualities it would take to be a successful artist. Some others, however, deserve that lack of recognition. That's the case of Akacia; this may be seen as a bit harsh from my part, but I digress.

However, before I start pointing the reasons why this album is not good, I feel that I need to establish some premises:

First of all, I have come in contact with this band for the first time listening to this album (the band's best rated album here in ProgArchives, and I do not own neither have listened to any of their other works, so I will limit my comments to this album alone), so I had no bias, either positive or negative, towards them, let me make that clear.

Second of all, I do not dislike Christian music. I am a practicing Roman Catholic myself, have a love for Gregorian chant and enjoy Neal Morse's (progressive rock) solo releases quite a lot as well as Glass Hammer (whose work has some Christian undertones to it).

Third of all, I do not have a bias against small, unknown or underground progressive rock bands neither against symphonic prog. In fact, many of the bands I love ARE small symphonic bands. Just as a mean to exemplify that, I can recall from the top of my head bands such as Ars Nova, Trimvirat, Glass Hammer, Tempus Fugit, Bacamarte and Saecula Saeculorum.

Now that all those things have been put aside, allow me to explain why this album is greatly disappointing.

Starting off with the most important thing when it comes to progressive rock, the music, not all of it is terrible, but most of it is. In an album clocking well over the 50 minutes and having an epic with more than 35 minutes, I believe that it is very bad thing when the album's only good parts are the fist song and the epic's first 4 minutes. Yes, the epic is not the album's most impressive part, in fact it is quite bad because of how sloppily it is put together. The music does not develops, one idea does not transforms into another, but, instead, it seems that the bad has just glued together many musical ideas that they had, but were not good nor long enough to be a single song. I must admit that the opening theme (that comes back around the 35 or 36 minute mark in order to give the idea that the song is not just different and unrelated melodies put together) is very good, but since it does not last for the whole song . . .

Also, if the musical ideas were good they could make the song sound somewhat good, even if they were disjointedly put together. That is also not the case. The melodies they portray in The Brass Serpent (the album) are, for the most part, quite generic and lacked soul and personality.

To make it ever better, the closing song isn't even progressive rock, it is just a plain gospel tune with some occasional good instrumental parts! Frankly, the only thing that holds this album together and keeps it from being a complete waste after the Postmodernity has ended is the third song, Olivet, which, ironically, has themes from the opening song; they both end in the exact same way, even the lyrics are same!

The lyrics aren't quite bright as well. The whole album revolves lyrically around preaching the word of God. Again, nothing wrong with that, but I have the opinion that these things have a proper time and place where you can actually meditate and think about it. That is completely incompatible with rock and pop music in general. Quoting the Holy Bible in their lyrics also does not help a single bit. Actually, even before I started listening to The Brass Serpent, when I first unpacked it and started to browse the booklet, it was the lyrics that first made me realize something was bound to go wrong with this album.

Rating and Final Thoughts

So, an album with bad music, bad lyrics and that tries and preaches the word of God, quoting the Bible instead of delivering quality progressive rock. What other grade I could give Akacia's second release besides the single star?

CCVP | 1/5 |


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