Arcadea - Arcadea

Arcadea cover
Arcadea
Arcadea
Relapse Records
2017
4.5
Average: 4.5 (8 votes)
Arcadea might have not been given the time of day if not for them featuring Mastodon’s drummer Brann Dailor. Think of it’s a synth heavy version of a tamer Mastodon with shorter but also denser songs, heavy on modulation and autotune. Granted it does sound “different” than most things out there, but that’s not necessarily a good thing...
 
“Army of Electrons” is a little shocking at first, because of the futuristic sound, but soon enough you settle in and understand the limited variety of tricks the band has up its collective sleeve, already from “Gas Giant”, which is a catchier techno number, the vocals subside to the back and are “clean” leading you to think that it’s a damn shame that these ideas are so randomly “butchered”, when they could have been produced so much better and given a proper singer, turned into something Ayreon like.
 
“Rings of Saturn” feels as if someone started working a second tape machine in tandem with a main track, the second layer is only some electronic beats that tend to mangle a rather soft original track, that might have been “great on its own” or if the electronic parts were “separated”… in fact “Neptune Moons” adds a female vocal and “clears” up the atmosphere a bit, thus creating a bit of that 70s inspired amalgam, that might have been the initial scope, but maybe sounded too plain to the creators. I actually dig this track pretty much.
 
“Infinite End” tries to go for a poppier sound and keeps the electronics in check, but it sounds as confused as most of Mastodon’s fare, which is “very”. The keys randomly soloing bit though is kinda funky.
 
“Electromagnetic” almost manages to balance the vocals and electronics but a second vocal that seems to be some male in falsetto, makes it all pretty shrieky and an acquired taste, although one of the beats there is kinda nice.
 
“Motion of Planets” felt a bit like Beastie Boys when doing sci-fi raps, colliding with Linkin Park, Ayreon and Rob Zombie… obviously the “harsh” Zombiesque vocal stands out, in a nice way too, but the overall composition is probably a bit too overblown for its own good. 
 
I sort of feel like “The Pull of Invisible Strings” might have worked much better with a synth lead and not its weak sometimes spoken/mumbled and at other times “meowed” out vocals…
 
“Through The Eye of Pisces” goes a bit Daft Punk-y, with tons of “vocoded” vocals, and a semi-decent atmosphere, but no drive or certain direction; it soon gets lots in the corridors of its own cosmos.
 
Lastly, “Worlds Can Go On” is a short simple, effect intro to “Magnificent Facade”, a dazed and not to confused track that sounds a lot like Masto-light, with some spaghetti syths on top. Not bad, but not great either…
 
Likely to dazzle, you with how “forward” thinking this might seem, but if you’d have listened to some mid-late 70s stuff, this would sound like a bunch of fuzzy, intergalactic noize, a hubbub that as much as it would like to be a modern day “meta” equivalent of Hawkwind, is just not as brilliant…

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