Arcania - Dreams Are Dead

Arcania was created in 1999 by Cyril, Gabriel and Guillaume. After promoting the first demo on stage for four years, the band had to face the tragic death of Gabriel. It was a huge blow for the band but they still found the strength to carry on. Thus, in 2004, they released their first E.P, recorded at the Bud Records Studio by Mat, from Gorod. The underground critics all agreed to call it a very promising start.

I have no idea what to expect here. Looking at the cover it seems the band are focusing more on their progressive side with a space themed cover than their thrash side, However, I would have thought that the booklet would have been proof read before releasing. Saying that my French doesn’t cut it either!

This track is an orchestral landscape of rich beauty. It has alluring appeal and not what I was expecting but the word ‘progressive’ usually takes on the higher end of the scale meaning it allows for a band to explore freely and can produce some breath-taking moments – this is one such time.

Watch Us Dying
This sees the band in a more timeframe and produce an expressive well balanced and even tempered track. Vocally rich and moreish with compelling guitar, the melodic euphoria sets the benchmark very high.

Rise And Never Fall
Sees a harsher approach as the riffs literally fire on all cylinders in a thrash vein but without losing any of the progressive twists. Its ‘play for keeps’ and is very effective! - later on in the track a lower end growl appears which I was not expecting, but welcomed all the same.

Face In The Mirror
Again a good mix of the progressive thrash on this charismatic track. Daring and bold it boasts a slow and encouraging melodic tone that is agile and strong. The riffs are sharp and sprightly and keep the mind fully focused.

Dreams Are dead
Persevering with its progressive label the band have produced another intense offering but not with their thrash element that appears slightly further on in the track and is on the move to produce another enterprising and bustling composition.

Inside The Crowd
A more forceful guise has been used here with interlocking progressive traits. The dynamic drumming is forceful and vigorous, while the vocal edge is clean but still viable. The breakdown shows a more spirited encounter.

“The talent coupled with the inventiveness knows no bounds and is a really clever adventure, accomplishment and tasteful style that is finely tuned to perfection!”

Dreams End All Days
An instrumental that outlines the bands flexible side. Its medley of intrigue brings the listener to exploit its vital layers and plunges them into a passionate and vibrant coil that keeps on turning.

Suffering For An Answer
A rather masterful track that delivers a strenuous gait and shoots from the hip in an all-out vigorous awakening and challenges the senses to their maximum, swarming around heavy riffage and energetic beats.

A Scar In Our Mind
A stirring and vivacious track that seethes under a bristling cacophany of perplexing rhythms coupled with a forceful vocal entourage and a track I feel is the strongest on the album and certainly one of the most compelling. It also boats moments of melodic persuasion and rife with energy allowing times when you really enjoy a euphoric moment mixed with the seriousness of the metal – Brilliant!

Days End All Dreams
Its samples of children playing in the background to a more serious orchestral bait is intriguing. It has a slight medieval trait adding spice and a real passiveness allowing the listener to fully engage in its beauty.

Safely tucked away in the far reaches of the place we call France are a band called Arcania. Probably nobody outside the region has heard of them, which is a real shame as what they have produced is a riveting album and one that certainly warrants appreciation. A very unusual and unique album packed full of creativity and superior compositions. Its mood can be dynamic and then dream-like so steeped with undeniable imagination and emotion. The harsher moments are engaging but the euphoria is cut from a fine cloth of spun gold and utilised to the maximum. The talent coupled with the inventiveness knows no bounds and is a really clever adventure, accomplishment and tasteful style that is finely tuned to perfection.

  1. Intro
  2. Watch Us Dying
  3. Rise And Never Fall
  4. Face In The Mirror
  5. Dreams Are Dead
  6. Inside The Crowd
  7. Dreams Ends All Days
  8. Suffering For An Answer
  9. A Scar In Our Mind
  10. Days Ends All Dreams