|Review: Arachnes - Parallel Worlds|
Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2001
Genre: Neo-classical Power Metal
Review online: January 22, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty damn precarious about forming a band if I were Italian. I can just imagine the think tank brothers Franco and Enzo Caruso had going way back at Arachnes' conception. "So then brother, what kind of musical outlet should we form in order to bridge both our heavy metal influences and proficient classical music training?"
"Hmm," pondered Enzo, "well as far as I can see, blending the two styles together would be the most pragmatic option."
"Quite," agreed fretboard extraordinaire Franco Caruso, "but are you sure no band has done this before? I mean to say; surely it's a rather ingenious idea!"
"Indeed! And no one will ever remember Labyrinth when we burst on the power metal scene!"
"What?!" screamed Franco, confusion evident on his face. "The what scene? What is this Labyrinth?"
"Errrrrrrr," Enzo slurred, "never mind, kind brother. Now all we need is a fast double bass drummer!"
"A what drummer?"
This might seem like unjustified rambling by an incoherent idiot, but when you hear the opening bars of intro "Prelude" – great name by the way… - you frankly start to believe that Arachnes are completely ignorant to the entire scene, which is particularly incestuous in Italy. Not to say anything Arachnes have ever recorded has been particularly egregious, on the contrary, most of their albums are sound representations of the genre, it's just so predicable, that every note, every vocal line, every guitar harmony sounds re-hashed and re-ripped off for a new generation. "Parallel Worlds" is rather more interesting than the two albums that followed, "Apocalypse" and "Primary Fear", in that they focus their efforts squarely on good, catchy melodies and often progressive song structures as apposed to the overly symphonic pretensions they now contrive.
Enzo Caruso has one of the best voices in the genre; thick, powerful and a steady use of vibrato; he carries the melodies rather than letting them carry him. Definitely one for the power metal coterie, fans of Stratovarious, Oracle Sun and Sonata Arctica will lap this up, especially those who crave sharp, truncated metal anthems in the shade of grand epics.
Ostensibly boring and uninspiring, "Parallel Worlds" has an abundance of propitious attributes when you give it the chance to overcome you. For example, the chorus of "Running Now" is so simple and asinine, yet it craved my attentions after just the third listen, and now I can't live without it. This magical formula is repeated throughout, with both "Danger of Death" and the Malmsteen-like "Narrow Road" following suit.
One of the better releases of 2001 – and one of Arachnes' – "Parallel Worlds" should easily unite fans of both neo-classical and heavy metal music. Just like they intended, eh?
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: A New Day (reviewed by Christopher Foley)|
Review: Apocalypse (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: In Praise of Science (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Interview with Frank Caruso on February 11, 2007 (Interviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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