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The Archestra - Arches CD (album) cover


The Archestra



3.89 | 8 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Rational Diet's implosion after their fantastic 2010 album "On Phenomena and Existences" is a mixed blessing for fans of the band due to the rising from the ashes of two splinter bands, "Five Storey Ensemble" and "The Archestra". 2013 brings us the debut albums from these two new ensembles, and I find myself preferring the Archestra album over the Five Story Ensemble by significant margin.

What made Rational Diet exciting to me was the frantic, dissonant and yet incredibly tight performances by a tight rock/chamber orchestra. As far as the 'Chamber Rock' movement goes, Rational Diet's latest was tied with label mate Yugen's album from the same month as some of the most exciting music to have come out since it's inception in the 70s.

In some ways, Rational Diet's story now resembles the various peaces of fellow Chamber Rock project Once Upon a Time in Belgium. For those not familiar, Once Upon a Time in Belgium was an ensemble consisting of three chamber rock bands: Aranis (soft / mostly classical), Univers Zero (a blend of classical and rock) and Present (a very rock approach to chamber rock). Rational Diet was seated comfortably in the middle with Univers Zero, but after the split, Five Storey Ensemble has taken the role of Aranis in being more classical / soft, while The Archestra has taken more of the rock sound.

It is interesting to hear The Archestra stating their heritage proudly, perhaps even staking a claim to it, with many of their tracks directly quoting themes and melodies from Rational Diet albums. But there is a harder edge on it now, and while they may not do subtlety quite as well as their parent band, they don't really try either so it doesn't necessarily hurt the music. Instead Archestra concentrate on what they do best - a blistering, dark take on chamber music. One wishes they had developed a few more of their own themes, but on the other hand hearing these more intense versions of old compositions is definitely a pleasant experience.

Excellent album that sparks great hope in the future of this band.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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