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Arnioe Tension And Release album cover
3.00 | 8 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Opening (8:10)
2. Tentative Selection (7:22)
3. Station of Dreams (6:59)
4. Rise and You'll Fall (7:24)
5. Centre of the Universe (8:41)
6. Please Yourself (3:54)
7. The Closing (9:49)

Line-up / Musicians

Aron Scharfegger - All Instruments and Vocals

Releases information

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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ARNIOE Tension And Release ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (75%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARNIOE Tension And Release reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars Arnioe has created another special album with "Tension and Release" that features a very melodic collection of songs with some innovative musicianship. The album opens with 'The Opening', an obvious title, and this is a grand start indeed clocking 8:10. It has a Pink Floyd Echoes feel with the whale sonic effects and drones. The guitars drive home a great melody with some pounding drums hammering the nails in.

'Tentative Selection' sounds like a wash of Mellotrons with a punctuated rhythm helped by pulsating bass and off beat percussion. It settles into an odd cadence with grand shimmering organ stabs. The time sig changes are effective melting over with repetitive motifs of fuzzed guitar notes. After this wonderful opening the Hammond sound dominates and then quiet vocals with a Neal Morse flavour chime in; 'inside my shadow I wait to appear'. The song builds with eloquent lead breaks and a measured beat. Aron Scharfegger certainly is a great musician to play so many styles and instruments, and his voice is crystalline and easy on the ears.

'Station of Dreams' is very weird vocally with a warbled effect reminiscent of psychedelic works of the 60s. The pitchy synyths play off a strong acoustic layer. The lyrics are whispered softly; 'See me on the roundabout, on the swings and round about, shades of colour black and blue, taking me away' and 'I've been living in a photograph forever'. This is a melancholy track again sounding very much like Neal Morse. 'Rise and You'll Fall' has a wintery effect over a piano vibe and builds with cool steel staccato notes and a fast rhythmic feel. The 4 note structure is broken by more forceful vocals; 'you have lost and you have found, holding out, holding out where you wanna be, fly away and spread your wings, head on out to sea.' This is a more upbeat song with bright lead breaks and keyboard melodies. It feels Neo with Marillion like keys and accentuated harmonies. There is even a reference to Pink Floyd with ; 'come on and have a cigar.' The chimes towards the end are very effective maintaining a wintery atmosphere. Then a Black Sabbath like riff grinds as the lead guitar joins, and quavers of organ pads. Overall, an excellent track.

'Centre of the Universe' travels along running out to 8:41, opening with acoustic reverberations. The Hammond organ sound enters and then a measured cadence of guitar, bass and drum and finally the vocals return, speaking of a 'distant future dreaming of the past', 'flowers in the sun', and the main stanza 'if you see me pass me by, don't forget me when your heart is aching, if you need it you can fly.' The atmosphere is akin to classic Yes with Steve Howe style guitar motifs. It is great how it breaks after 5 minutes and then definitive Steve Howe guitars come in sounding so much like 'Starship Trooper' outro, down to the wavering sound mixing, and even the rhythms are identical. The keyboard solo over this phrase is also like Yes with Wakeman-ish keyboard runs. The influences of Yes are of course obvious but 'Starship Trooper' is one of my alltime favourites so I enjoyed this affectionate homage.

'Please Yourself' has some spacey sounds in the intro, and a pleasant guitar chord progression with breathy vocals; 'long time awake but you're still sleeping, wonder the thoughts you might believe in, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder'. The dreamy ethereal atmosphere is beautiful, especially those soft keyboards. It builds into a space rock stanza, with Aron singing 'rise and discover all the wonders of the day'. Heavenly synths play over the main rhythms.

'The Closing' is almost 10 minutes long and literally closes the album. It begins with spacey atmospherics, that have an ambience but are soon overwhelmed by a strong keyboard and guitar progression. It has a 60s psych rock vibe, especially with the Hammond flourishes, and twin guitar embellishments. The grandeur settles into a heavy ascending guitar riff and harmonised vocals overlaid with a high and low part that are effective; 'you can see beyond, you can see the light to the distance.' The lead guitar breaks are excellent and soon the pace breaks into a sole keyboard pad and well executed acoustics. The song moves into melancholy territory with Aron asking; 'who's the one I see? Who's in charge of me?' a syncopated rhythm enters with some great basslines and sustained church organ sounds. The lead guitar soars over the top with incredible finesse, some of the best on the album. In fact this track has to be the highlight of 'Tension and Release'.

Overall the album tends to grow on the listener after a few listens. At times the vocals are a bit shaky but they often become a comforting source with all the musicianship on offer. The songs tend to rely heavily on huge lead breaks and grandiose organ flourishes. There are many styles but mainly it feels melancholy with occasional outbursts of symphonic Prog and Neo. It is not consistent in terms of innovation or excellence, but at least 3 tracks here are absolutely stunning especially 'Rise and You'll Fall', 'Centre of the Universe', and 'The Closing'. The album certainly is melodic and a pleasant journey on every listen.

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