dimanche 21 décembre 2014

ARCANE: Revenants (2014)

“Revenants is a solid opus of e-rock where some superb fragrances of TD's analog era fill the air in a genre that made the trio famous for; the movie music”

1 Revenants 5:12
2 Contagion 5:25
3 Fire and Rain 5:35
4 From here to Oblivion 6:12
5 The Returned 6:17
6 Sunrise on a Desolate Freeway 5:58
7 Unnatural Selection 5:38
8 Deadly Skyline 6:26

Paul Lawler Bandcamp (DDL 46:47) ****
(E-rock for picture minded)
Whoosh...! We are not yet sit that the sequences plough a lively rhythm. The keys cut out the air with sharp hits. They sculpture a furious sinuous race which hang on to pulsations beat up by a bass drum. The riffs which fall and scatter derisive harmonies, as well as these synth pads which come from metallurgical sources, don't lie; we are on familiar ground. We are in the den of Arcane. In the den of this group whose legend is closely linked to that of Tangerine Dream. Moreover, who is whom? The question arises. Because all through “Revenants” we have this delicious sensation that both myths make only one. The title-track assails our ears with a furious rhythm, braided in the analog perfume, which runs to lose breath through the sonic traps which rush on both sides of our ears. If the sequences and percussions forge a solid e-rock, the guitar spits its gall by roaring as a starving animal. And because the rhythm empties its reservoir of furious keys, brief moments of calm regild the decoration with delicious foggy pads and keyboard riffs which bring out the analog years.
"Revenants" sets the tone to an album that plunges us literally in these years when
Tangerine Dream amazed the circle of cinema, movie makers, with hard-hitting soundtracks. From Flashpoint to Thief, while passing by Wavelength and even Near Dark, for the effects of fright, without forgetting Green Desert for the analog perfumes this last album of Arcane  follows the moments of madness of Holocaust 300 and offers 8 tracks where the rhythms have the upper hand over the ambiences and where the melodies, the harmonies tame an apocalyptic vision which fits closely to its rather significant artwork. If "Revenants" rocks the house down, "Contagion" brings us to a more sinister level, just like "Unnatural Selection" which presents an even more unpredictable structure. A line of sequences stretches its keys which skip hurriedly in the shadow of others, moulding a heavy stroboscopic filet which goes and comes through intriguing and lugubrious synth pads. The ambience is like being in a video game where the hero has to search tunnels full of traps. The percussions are sober and feed a rhythmic heaviness. And if the rhythm is ambient, it remains decorated with threats and with elements of fear where riffs, metallic jingles and howling voices intensify a sepulchral climate. The sequences eventually keep a pulsing fixation, forging a linear and livelier rhythm from where emerge other sequences among which the harmonious approach, as well as the addition of more lively percussions, accentuate the pace of "Contagion" which preserves nevertheless its threatening envelope. A mood which overflows on the sinister "Fire and Rain" and its rivulet of sequences which sparkle under the thunders and in the knocks of heavy muffled pulsations. The rhythm livens up in the form of a slow gallop where are fluttering crystalline keys in the mist of foggy synth pads. We swim at height ears in ambiences, rhythms and melodies stamped by the influences of Tangerine Dream and it is not the very beautiful "From here to Oblivion" that is going to deny it. It's a charming e-ballad with nervous sequences a la Flashpoint, just like those lively of "Sunrise on a Desolate Freeway" which swirl and lose of their brightness in a heavy and slow tempo, always soaked with a vision of threats. I quite enjoyed "The Returned" and its heavy rhythm bombarded by muted pulsations and torn by riffs of a guitar, which is also capable of good solos in "Sunrise on a Desolate Freeway", from which its curt and edgy chords make contrasts with these silvery sequences which shake a cloudy rhythm. A rhythm which little by little accepts the swiftness from the flight of sequences to become as much harmonious than lively. There is a scent of Near Dark here. "Deadly Skyline" ends with an a little less darker approach. The rhythm is slow and raised on sequences of which the crystalline tones shine in the pulses of sober percussions. These sequences get loose to form a line of orchestral jolts, always adding this filmic weight which characterizes “Revenants”. A little like Edgar, Paul Lawler tortures his electric six-strings and places some evasive solos which melt into an artificial voice. And, according to the rules of the  seven other tracks of “Revenants”, the rhythm exorcises its passivity. Dusting out its mortuary atmospheres, it gets hit of more lively percussions and runs away with the strange harmonies of this feminine voice which steals us a few seconds of those suave solos from which we distinguish with difficulty the nuances between a synth and a guitar. And always, we have this delicious impression to walk on the sonic, the musical paths of Tangerine Dream. And this, Arcane is not offended! After all, don't they come from this wonderful time when EM could has been as well secret and intriguing than be charmingly mesmerizing and lively?
Sylvain Lupari (December 20th,2014)

gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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