Exposé Online banner

Ars Nova — Seventh Hell
(Musea FGBG4831AR, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Seventh Hell Cover art

The opener “Seventh Hell” presents twelve minutes of intensely convoluted frantic bombast, busy and chaotic at every melodic intersection, though sensibly arranged; in short – exactly what one might expect from Ars Nova, very much in the vein of Italian horror movie soundtrack masters Goblin, though ratcheted up in complexity and presented with a more current sound. For those who haven’t kept up with Ars Nova over their last few releases, they are a quartet now, the band’s keyboard-and-drums heavy approach rounded out with bass and lead guitar, as well as several guests who join in on additional guitars, bass, and vocals on a few cuts. Still in command is keyboardist and chief composer Keiko Kumagai, the remainder of the band being all new faces since I last saw them in Baja around six years ago. Those vocals make their first appearance on the second track “La Venus Endormie,” which also introduces some Spanish folk flavor into the mix. Make no mistake, though, Ars Nova is still primarily an instrumental outfit, although the presence of multiple guitarists has taken some of the focus off the keyboards, and the sound is much more varied and interesting as a result. Also of note is the sidelong closing track, again mixing in some vocals, European folk styles, and tasty classical motifs, lifting the sound out that strictly Goblinesque groove. All taken this is among the best releases in Ars Nova’s oeuvre.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Ars Nova

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Von Zamla - Zamlaranamma – Von Zamla is another incarnation of the zany Samla Mammas Manna, who recorded two albums under the name for Urspar (this one being the first) before breaking up in the early 80s. Von Zamla's four...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues