Arapacis – ‘Obsolete Continuum’   6 comments

Introducing ‘Obsolete Continuum’, current album from Arapacis. Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered at Arapacis Studios, by Jerry Fielden, in 2016-2017. Featuring Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath and DIO), on Drums, on ‘Translucidity’.

Syndrome – Measured drum intro, with instant proggy atmosphere. Mid-paced vocals kick in, with a slight gothic edge, softened round the edges, by a melting sound, like a physical sensation, cushioning the track, like a dream pillow. Beautifully melodious riffs surround it, taking it further into dreamy territory. Incredible scream, hitting the heights, towards the end, before the drums bring it all together and wrap it up in a final roll. Clearly prog, in nature, an inexplicable sense of being cosseted in a warm blanket remains.

Deceptionist – Banging, fresh drum intro, taking it up into a higher mood. Quality vocal harmonies, well supported by the cohesive accompaniments, but still strong enough to stand on their own. A definite catchy thread to that chorus, it’s one of those whose magic lies in its simplicity. This track’s main standout factor is that it’s intricate, without being overcomplicated. A difficult skill to nail, but it’s clearly audible in here, as is the generally accomplished air.

The Grey Procession – Opening with an intriguing ambient sound, resembling being in a wind tunnel, surrounded by swirling autumn leaves. Whispered vocals initially, gaining more volume, as the drumming intensifies. Some complex fretwork in there and a gradual tribal-esque drumbeat rhythm. Joined by sinister toned vocals, with equally sinister lyrics. Continuing in that vein, in an almost hypnotically ritualistic chant, it ends on that same meditative mood.

Kicking Around Blues – Much faster, more upbeat drum and riff intro, with a very early blues style and feel to it. Very pleasing to the ear. While those vocals could be seen as challenging, in places, they’re generally in fitting with the bluesy angle of the song and they’re undeniably skilled and entertaining. Much more riff involvement in here, of a very bluesy nature, happily, including some Hendrix-type riffs and the whole thing creates an air of old school blues and jazz clubs, with ‘Old Slow Hand’ Eric Clapton doing his thing. Easily the standout track so far and it’s over too soon.

The Brute – Bass introing, deep down low-slung ‘Wild Thing’ type licks and a stronger light percussion emphasis, from the cymbals. Those vocals have suddenly become very creepy and Gollum-esque! An odd, though intriguing combo of masculine, evil goblin sounds, with gentle, yet powerful high-pitched feminine melody. It’d certainly draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat. A sudden end, but hey ho. Strong impressions were made. Say no more.

Obsolete Continuum – A darker mix of low bass notes and strategic cymbal hits introing; the feminine vocals return, showing their wares, with a black treacle-like edge to them. Merging, in places, with masculine vocals, which seem to retreat into the background, as the others come forward. A pleasant bit of sax work at the 3/4 point. Unusual alliance in rock, so good to hear it included. Some nice riff work at the end, consolidating everything, with perfected skill and precision.

Translucidity – Feat. Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath and DIO) on Drums – Strong drum intro and a creepily gothic vocal making its presence known. Moving into a more melodic sound, with an early rock and blues edge to it, but never quite losing that gothic sense. Riffs more prominent now, growing faster and then fading, into the background, intermittently, before returning, stronger and bolder. Comfortable, easy rhythm, becoming the backbone of the show. Ending on a strangely surreal fey-like vocal, it’s an effective way to close.

Watcher – Computer noises intro, very briefly, before opening the way for a classic darkened rhythm, growing lighter, enhanced by the fresh, open cymbal sounds. An undercurrent of early Sab’s ‘Children Of The Grave’ permeates. There’s a fitting sinister edge to the sounds – in keeping with the title, reinforced by the chasing style and sense of the following rhythm. Very visual, especially as the bass notes grow more prominent, at the end, just prior to the returning computer console closing sounds.

Overall – An intriguing concoction of sounds, blending prog, gothic, blues, jazz, early rock and the roots of metal. Freer in style than many concept albums and more effective to zone out to than most. Eclectic and unpredictable, utilising a broad spectrum of instrumental techniques and combinations, it’ll work best for the open-minded enquirer, as much as for the ingrained prog and concept enthusiast. Abstract is probably it’s most fitting and relevant description.

8/10 ********

For fans of prog, psychedelic, experimental, blues, jazz, concept rock, gothic rock and everything in between. Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ fans’ll enjoy this too.

Posted December 21, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

6 responses to “Arapacis – ‘Obsolete Continuum’

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