Arcana: Le Serpent Rouge
Arcana - Le Serpent Rouge - [Displeased Records]


I don’t think I've ever reviewed an album quite like this one, the band is actually a one person that does the writing and most of the instrumentation with two female vocalists and one male vocalist contributing.

This is Arcana's fifth album, and the genius that is Peter Bjargo is evident throughout, unlike his former releases, this is not as flamboyant and grandiose, but rather a low-key, more atmospheric release, it still retains the middle ages influences, but this time harnesses them with Arabic and ethnic musical influences.

The only real comparison can be made to Dead Can Dance, though the album can easily be the soundtrack of a mystical horror movie with Arab subject matter and ethnic overtones.

The album opens with the more etheric and rambling In Search Of The Divine before delving into the Arab sounding title track, where Bjargo's mastery of Arabic percussion instruments is amazing to behold, and the song has this energetic feel to yet.

Other tracks, such as Seductive Flame have a bit more ominous and forbidding tone, but in all the album sounds like a sequence rather then separate songs.

A fine way to enjoy a warm summer night, its no meat and gravy for the metal heads out there, but its an epic journey for more adventurous listeners, which rewards with rich atmosphere and a hypnotizing rhythm.

Alon Miasnikov

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