|Review: Arcana XXII - Fallen From Grace|
|Fallen From Grace|
Label: Arcana Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 23, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Fallen From Grace
You heard me, Namibia. As in Africa. And yet, Arcana XXII are still a bunch of white guys. (See my rant about "Music for white guys". See? I told you so.) This band is about to release album #3, but this here is their first, and it shows.
This is very straight-ahead metal. In some places it will remind you of old Priest, or a little like early Selloutica. This is crunchy, guitar-driven metal with no frills or keyboard flourishes. The vocals range from rather harsh to pretty smooth, mostly hovering in an ‘Accept’-able rough middle-ground. I cannot figure this singer out. On some tracks he sounds fine, good even, and on others he can’t seem to stay on key to save his life. In fact, this whole album is kind of schizo. The good tracks: "Mordor", "Demonflower", "Necromancer" are really really good, with crunchy guitars and memorable choruses. The only thing that keeps them from being great is the so-so vocals. (Gotta love those rolled "Rrrrr"s on "Mordor", or rather "Morrrrdorrrr") But the other tracks range from mediocre to annoying. "Mirror" is OK, despite the dreadfully off-key vocals, but "Easy Come", "Angel", "Broken Highway" and especially "Tunnels" are too long and obnoxiously boring.
That said, this CD shows too much promise to ignore. The guitar work is especially tasty and accomplished, and even the worst songs here flash cool riffs and sweet leads. I am avidly interested in getting ahold of some more of this band’s stuff, as I understand their later releases are much improved. The good songs on here are really first rate, and the prospect of more of the good stuff is enough to get me reaching for my wallet. Arcana XXII is definitely a band to watch.
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