Ars Nova — Chrysalis
(Musea FGBG 4644, 2005, CD)
by Roel Steverink, Published 2007-03-01I know this band from The Goddess of Darkness and Book of the Dead, both from the 90s. The Goddess of Darkness is a near masterpiece of bombastic prog. Despite several changes in line up, Ars Nova always stayed a girls’ band, but now one man has joined them, Satoshi Handa. The nucleus is still Keiko Kumagai (all sorts of keyboards and composer), on this outing augmented by Shinko Shibata (bass), Masuhiro Goto (drums), and the previously mentioned Handa on electric guitar. For this album Kumagai sought out six pieces from the whole career of the band and then the whole band played these pieces anew live in the studio. Goddess surprisee me with each track (none of the tracks of Goddess were chosen), do the tracks on Chrysalis do the same? All the pieces here are of later date than Goddess, and I’m afraid that the surprise is gone; I just miss that sniff of brilliancy Kumagai back then had. The guitar chops here remind me of Dream Theater and in the keyboard melodies I hear the Italian band Goblin. What I already noticed on Book of the Dead is over the top bombast (Goddness still left space to breathe); Chrysalis adds a bit of metal-esque atmosphere to the familiar. Although I haven’t heard the orginals, I don’t expect them to be too different from the new interpretations. Nevertheless the music is superbly played, arrangements are strong and the solos and themes are emotionally charged. Seems that Kumagai ran out of ideas after her near masterpiece and sadly this compilation proves it.
Related artist(s): Ars Nova
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more