Asgard — Arkana
(Music Is Intelligence WMMS-018, 1992, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1993-10-01Arkana is the latest offering from the Italian neo-progressive band Asgard. Their sound is full of power and grandeur, very symphonic, with affected vocals, shifting moods and almost schizophrenic dynamic changes. Overall, their material is full of feeling and emotion, ofttimes ethereal, yet very directed and always dark (although I haven't really sat down and given the lyrics close scrutiny). Lyrics are in English. The vocalist is nothing short of exceptional, and the rest of the band supports him well, rather than burying him. The extended instrumental passages show a band capable of producing raw power, melodic cohesion, and subtle restraint when needed. Comparisons? Sometimes I hear echoes of some great 70s Italian bands like PFM, Raccomandata RR, Island, and others, yet the vocalist reminds a little of Aragon, Galadriel or Mugen, sort of gothic, but to be fair, these guys are pretty unique. Anyway, for those who may be familiar with Asgard's two previous releases (Gotterdamerung from 1991 and Esoteric Poem from 1992), this newest release shows the band expanding out into some new musical territory, breaking new ground at every twist and turn in the album's 74 minutes. I believe this to be their best yet, by far.
Related artist(s): Asgard
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
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more