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Arcana Coelestia : Le Mirage de l’Idéal

Arcana Coelestia totally convince, in the magic of contrasts.

I really enjoyed the esoteric mix of Black and Doom Metal on ’Ubi Secreta Colunt’, the first album of the Italian band Aracana Coelestia. Its baroque developments and psychedelic eccentricities in which the band ventured told of something really outstanding to come. So, I was quite happy to recieve the promo of their new opus from their label, ATMF records...After several listenings, I wouldn’t say my hopes are fully satisfied even if the mirage of Ideal is far to be a deception.

Let’s be caricatural: I see 'Le Mirage de l’Idéal' as an alchemical smelter where all the archetypical leanings of the Italian culture whirl together: there is sun and flamboyance, pride and darkness, grotesque and madness. It’s the Metal equivalent of Fellini or Michel-Angelo, it has the decadent aspect of Venice, the romantic and intellectual side of Dante.

Arcana Coelestia has enriched its palette and polished its style. The music has become so dense, the sound so thick, that sometimes you can get lost in the melodic meanderings of the band. It is a feverish scribble rather than an architect's orthodox sketch. The result is then quite labyrinthine and lacks focus. The Italians wander in the worlds created by Esoteric (they're also a decisive influence for Urna's new album, this year). The Doom Arcana Coelestia display is ultra dense and convoluted but it is also mystical and very lyrical and it is right there that I find originality. It is a rich and warm breath that sometimes, because of an excess of concentration, because of its massive side, fails to really carry me away to the heights the band obviously aspires to reach.

The work is dead somber and tragic. The ogre's voice roars its pain over the angry rhythmic hurricane, the guitars' tremolo, the keyboard’s psychotropic wanderings, the powerful thundering drumming. The music is therefore built beyond all harmony. There are no memorable compositions, no melodies. The ’Mirage de l’Idéal’ is a confusing magma. It is like a constantly boiling volcan, a cascade of sparkling golden notes. The everpresent keyboard releases profuse torrents of lava, the growls are doubled by compelling hardcore screams that sometimes also give way to a clear male voice.

This psychedelic chaos, that is so little organized, happens to open now and then for some bits of more understandable meaning like these amazing operatic female vocals that stun in the middle of the wild tumult; it’s the voice of an angel floating above the guitars’ leads drowned in saturation. And that precisely is where Arcana Coelestia totally convince: in the magic of contrasts.

Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Duskfall
2. Requiem (For the Fathomless Void of Redemption)
3. Le Mirage de l'Idéal
4. Tragedy & Delirium I - The Tragedy
5. Tragedy & Delirium II - The Delirium
6. ...thus Fade in Nocturnal Deluge

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Arcana Coelestia bandpage.

Reviewed on 20-04-2009 by Bertrand marchal
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